Fabian Cancellara commits to new Trek team for 2014 and beyond (+ video)
US bicycle manufacturer has bought out RadioShack-Leopard's existing WorldTour licence
Fabian Cancellara has committed himself for the next three years to the Trek team that is due to take over RadioShack-Nissan's WorldTour licence at the end of this season. While transfers cannot be announced until 1 August at the earliest, the Swiss rider is staying with the same team so that's not an issue.
In this video, the 32-year-old rider, who this year completed the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix double for the second time - winning those races on the Trek Domane conceived specifically for his challenge in the Classics - talks about his decision and gives some thoughts on the years ahead.
The news follows the announcement last week that Trek had formally acquired the licence held by Flavio Becca's Luxembourg-based company, Leopard SA.
In a press release from US bicycle manufacturer Trek, which will be the team's name sponsor, Cancellara said: "There was a lot of speculation around my professional future in the last couple of weeks - even months.”
In particular, he had been linked with a move to Swiss UCI Professional Continental team, IAM Cycling, but his announcement today shuts the door on any such move.
"I'm really happy to confirm that I will stay with the Trek family," he went on. "Trek has been very close to me over the last three years, for example in the development of the Domane.
"This is a big opportunity for me as a bike rider and it will allow me to develop even more on the sporting side. Because that's what I'm in for: winning bike races, not sitting out until I retire. I'm motivated to get the maximum out of my career and I'm really proud it's going to be on a Trek!
"I think it's hard to overestimate the importance and necessity of a company like Trek taking on such a huge role in cycling. Bike brands have always been around, but what Trek is doing is great for cycling.
"To me, it shows courage and a big sense of responsibility to do this. I want to be part of this new project and I have no doubt that it's going to be great!"
Trek vice president Vice President Joe Vadeboncoeur added. "We're looking to build a team that is a perennial force in the classics, and who better to work with than the King himself?
"Great Athletes Ride Trek is something we believe in and Fabian exemplifies the type of athlete that we are looking to partner with."