Trek Factory Racing sets bar high for debut season

Cancellara, Schleck brothers lead cast of veterans and youngsters as new U.S. team presents itself in Roubaix

Photo: Tim De Waele

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ROUBAIX, France (AFP) — The new Trek Factory Racing team is aiming high for its debut season after unveiling a star-studded team, featuring Fabian Cancellara and the Schleck brothers, on Friday.

The new American team replaces the Luxembourg-based RadioShack and will combine the experience of riders such as Switzerland’s Cancellara, the Schleck brothers, and Germany’s Jens Voigt with promising youngsters including Danny van Poppel of the Netherlands.

“We hope to win as many races as possible, but I prefer quality to quantity,” team boss Luca Guercilana said at a presentation at the velodrome in the northern French town of Roubaix. “Our two primary objectives are to win the classics and finish on the podium in the Tour de France.

“We have very experienced riders but we needed youngsters to complete the team. The mix of youth and experience will be the key to success.”

The star of the team will without doubt be the 32-year-old Cancellara, the four-time world time trial champion who could make beating the hour record one of his objectives.

“I have many ambitions, not just one. The hour record is something we have talked about but nothing has been decided,” said Cancellara, who is also likely to try and win the Paris-Roubaix classic for the fourth time and equal the record held by Belgian duo Roger De Vlaeminck and Tom Boonen.

Meanwhile, Fränk Schleck, the elder of the brothers from Luxembourg, is eager to show that he can still compete at the highest level after serving a one-year suspension following a positive test for a banned diuretic.

“I want to show that I am not finished. I can’t wait to attack the new season,” said the 33-year-old, who will begin his season at the Santos Tour Down Under later this month and has also made the Tour de France one of his stated aims for the year.

“I have had a lot of support and continued to train during my ban,” said Schleck. “It could be interesting at the start, but I am sure I will be fine.”

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