Leopard s.a. President Flavio Becca is confident that the team will be very competitive in 2012, prolonging the string of good results in 2011. “In our inaugural season we had many podium places in the classics and Tour de France. Oliver Zaugg completed the season with a spectacular Tour of Lombardy victory and we secured third place in the UCI World Tour ranking. But like any owner, whether it is in business or sports, I am constantly looking for ways to improve the team. Johan Bruyneel is a leader who has a proven record of unparalleled success. He maximizes talent, employs winning strategies and motivates riders and staff to achieve greatness. I am confident that Johan is the best person for our team.”
Bruyneel has had a busy few months assembling the 2012 roster. “I’ve never been one to shy away from challenges so when I was presented with this opportunity, I immediately saw the potential of the idea. We collectively decided it was a win-win partnership for all parties. After that, we became focused on putting together 30 riders, which was a tougher task than I’ve ever experienced in the past. Combining Team RadioShack riders that we made an agreement with for 2012, with existing Leopard Trek riders resulted in 42 riders, 12 over the maximum limit for World Tour teams. We worked hard to ensure that every rider’s contract was honored and that each one had a place to ride in 2012; if not with RadioShack Nissan Trek, then with another professional cycling team. With the roster of 30 riders finalized, we can now spend all our time and effort in preparing this group for the challenges that lie ahead.”
With an impressive array of GC contenders in the team, Bruyneel will look to win another Tour de France title. “It’s too early to decide the complete Tour de France team, but I know we’ll have numerous riders who can compete for the top podium step in Paris. Certainly Andy has come the closest, as he has finished second the past three years. I’m excited to work with him and Fränk, two talented and successful riders, who I believe will continue to rise in the eyes of the cycling world.”
Andy Schleck believes Bruyneel will play an important role in achieving his lifetime dream of winning Grand Tours. “When the new management structure was announced, I was a bit unsure of all the changes. But after talking with Johan and really understanding his philosophy, it’s very clear that having him lead this team is in my best interests, as well as in those of the team. He’ll help me build upon my strengths and improve my weak areas. In addition to that, I don’t think anyone understands race strategies and tactics better than Johan. Adding that to the work I’ve been doing with Kim Andersen makes me believe that I’ll have the best opportunity yet to stand on the highest podium spot.”
2011 Tour de France podium finisher Fränk Schleck understands the importance of a strong team. “We have riders that can perform in the mountains, on the flats, in the sprints, in time-trials. When I look at all the names and think about all the victories these riders have achieved in the past, I can’t help but be filled with excitement and optimism. After only the first meeting in October, it was clear that this group is very motivated to achieve success, not only at one race, but throughout the season. Our strength does not lie in any one individual, but rather the collective team. I think that is what will benefit us the most as we battle our competitors.”
Andreas Klöden, the two-time Tour de France runner-up, will enter his fifth season under the guidance of Bruyneel and is no stranger to sharing the leadership. “For me to continue with Johan was an easy decision. Besides the misfortune at the Tour, 2011 was one of my best seasons with victories in numerous races. I have been on teams with other great riders so this situation is not new for me. If the Schlecks have the best opportunity to win the Tour, I will fully support them. If there is an opportunity for me and Johan decides that it gives the team the best chance to win, I will be ready for the challenge. But I have goals in other races as well – either to win for the first time or defend my title.”
Also joining Klöden from Team RadioShack is the veteran American rider and 2011 Amgen Tour of California Champion Chris Horner. “2011 had its highs and lows for me. Certainly the crash at the Tour was the lowest point, but I also had one of my career highlights when I won the Amgen Tour of California. That was a very important race not only for me, but also our sponsors and I imagine with our strong American ties that the goal remains the same in 2012. I may be forty years old, but I believe I have the perfect combination to achieve top results – the motivation of a neo-pro combined with the experiences of a seasoned rider.”
Fabian Cancellara is RadioShack Nissan Trek’s undisputable captain for the one-day races. Cancellara, four-time World Time Trial Champion, will lead the team throughout the Spring Campaign and aim for victory in his favorite races, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. “I’m a rider that puts a lot of expectations on myself to win. So it was tough for me last year when I didn’t win Flanders or Roubaix. Those experiences have made me even more motivated and stronger, both physically and mentally. Besides strong men like Robert Wagner and Joost Posthuma, we’ve added Hayden Roulston and my fellow countryman and friend Gregory Rast to the group of riders for the cobblestone classics. And in the car we’ll have Dirk Demol, who was a Paris-Roubaix winner himself. The classics are still a few months away, but I have no reason not to be confident.”
Bruyneel, who has been successful in a long list of stage races, but has only one classic victory in his thirteen year directing career, is excited about the potential to add more in 2012. “Fabian is a very special rider. His palmares reads like a cyclist’s dream – He’s won the World Time Trial Championships four times, national championships, an Olympic Gold Medal, Tour de France stages, worn the Yellow Jersey and then victories in Paris-Roubaix, Flanders, Milan-Sanremo. After all these achievements, some riders would lose motivation, but Fabian has that winning drive that lies in all champions. I’m honored and excited to help build upon all his success.”
RadioShack Nissan Trek K will gather in Calpe, Spain for a December training camp. The second training camp will be held in January on the Spanish island of Mallorca. The team’s first race will be the Santos Tour Down Under in Adelaide, Australia from January 15-22, 2012.
RadioShack Nissan Trek 2012
30 riders, 14 nationalities
Jan Bakelants (BEL)
Climber and Tour de l’Avenir winner.
Daniele Bennati (ITA)
51 professional victories, including 10 Grand Tour stages.
George Bennett (NZL)
Tour of Wellington winner and as a stagiaire instrumental in Team RadioShack 2011 victories in Tour of Utah and USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
Matthew Busche (USA)
2011 USA Pro Champion.
Fabian Cancellara (SUI)
Olympic and four-time World TT Champion, National Road (2x) and TT (4x) Champion, winner of Paris-Roubaix (2x), Tour of Flanders, Milan-Sanremo, E3-Prijs Harelbeke (2x) and 9 Grand Tour stages. Overall winner Tirreno-Adriatico and Tours of Switzerland, Denmark and Oman.
Laurent Didier (LUX)
Podium placings in 2011 National Road and TT Championships.
Jakob Fuglsang (DEN)
Three-time Overall winner Tour of Denmark, Overall winner Tour of Slovenia. 2010 National TT Champion. 2007 U23 World Champion Mountain Bike Cross Country.
Tony Gallopin (FRA)
2011 Coupe de France winner. Pro stage wins in Tours of Luxembourg and Limousin, U23 Paris-Tours winner and bronze medals at Junior World TT and Road Championships.
Linus Gerdemann (GER)
Stage winner (and yellow jersey) in Tour de France, Overall winner Tours of Luxembourg, Germany, Ain and Bayern.
Ben Hermans (BEL)
2011 silver medalist National TT Championships and winner Trofeo Inca. 2010 queen stage winner Tour of Belgium. 2004 Junior National TT champion.
Chris Horner (USA)
2011 Tour of California Champion, winner of 18 professional stage races.
Markel Irizar (ESP)
2011 Tour of Andalucia Overall winner.
Ben King (USA)
2010 National Road Race Champion after winning in the same year the U23 Road and Criterium Titles as well. 2007 Junior National Road and TT Champion.
Andreas Klöden (GER)
Two-time Tour de France runner-up and overall winner of Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico, Tour de Romandie and Tour of the Basque Country (2x).
Tiago Machado (POR)
National TT Champion 2009 (elite) and 2006 (U23). 2007 U23 National Road Champion. Finished ten times in top ten stage races in his two years at Team RadioShack.
Maxime Monfort (BEL)
2009 National TT Champion. Overall winner Tour du Luxembourg. Impressive 6th place in 2011 Tour of Spain.
Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA)
Sprinter. 2011 stage winner Bayern Rundfahrt, beating Degenkolb and Boasson Hagen.
Nelson Oliveira (POR)
Four-time and current National TT Champion. Silver medal at U23 World TT Championship (2009) and U23 European Road Championship (2010)
Yaroslav Popovych (UKR)
Indispensable teammate in the mountains as well as classics specialist. White jersey Tour de France 2005, 3rd Overall in Tour of Italy, 2001 U23 World Champion and U23 Paris-Roubaix winner.
Joost Posthuma (NED)
Overall winner Tour du Luxembourg, Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde, Tour of Andalucia, Sachsen Tour and stage winner Paris-Nice.
Gregory Rast (SUI)
Three-time National Road Champion and 2007 Tour du Luxembourg winner
Thomas Rohregger (AUT)
Tour of Austria winner. Instrumental in 2011 Tour of Spain success of Monfort and Fuglsang.
Hayden Roulston (NZL)
Silver and bronze medalist 2008 Olympic Games (pursuit and team pursuit). 2011 and 2006 national road champion.
Andy Schleck (LUX)
Three-time runner-up Tour de France (three-times stage winner (Morzine, Tourmalet and Galibier), runner-up Tour of Italy and winner Liège-Bastogne-Liège. National Road (2x) and TT Champion.
Fränk Schleck (LUX)
3rd Overall 2011 Tour de France. Winner of Amstel Gold Race, Tour of Switzerland, Tour du Luxembourg, Critérium International and two Tour de France stages (Alpe d’Huez and Le Grand-Bornand). Three-time National Road Champion. Seven podium placings in classics.
Jesse Sergent (NZL)
In his first year as pro rider Overall winner of the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen, the Tour du Poitou-Charentes and the Eneco Tour TT. 2010 silver medalist of the World Pursuit Championships. Bronze medalist at the 2008 Summer Olympics (team pursuit).
Jens Voigt (GER)
81 professional victories, including 16 stage races like Critérium International (5x), Deutschland Tour (2x) and Tour of Poland. Winner of 2 stages in the Tour de France and 1 stage in the Tour of Italy.
Robert Wagner (GER)
2011 German national champion.
Oliver Zaugg (SUI)
2011 Tour of Lombardy winner. Instrumental in 2011 Tour of Spain success of Monfort and Fuglsang.
Haimar Zubeldia (ESP)
Finished in the top ten in four Grand Tours.
Kim Andersen, José Azevedo, Dirk Demol, Alain Gallopin, Luca Guercilena & Lars Michaelsen