Schleck brothers reunited at 'new' Trek team for 2014 season

Frank and Andy to join Fabian Cancellara in outfit being put together by bike maker that has taken over Leopard WorldTour licence

by Simon_MacMichael   July 23, 2013  

Giro 2012 S11 Frank Schleck signs on (Gian Mattia D'Alberto - LaPresse - RCS Sport)

Fränk Schleck will be reunited with brother Andy at the start of the 2014 UCI WorldTour season, with Trek Bicycle Corporation confirming today that the brothers have been signed up for the team it is putting together after buying out the licence currently held by Leopard SA, the Luxembourg-based company that launched its own team built around the siblings in 2011.

In an press release, the Wisconsin-based bike-maker’s vice-president, Joe Vadeboncoeur, said: “We’re very excited to add two riders that bring the race experience and professionalism that Andy and Fränk both have.

“We’ve built a strong relationship with them in the past few years, and we can’t wait to see what we’ll be able to accomplish together next season.”

Earlier this month, ahead of the expiry of Fränk’s 12-month partially backdated ban imposed as a result of his positive test for the diuretic Xipamide during last year’s Tour de France, RadioShack-Leopard stated that he would not be rejoining the team once he was free to race again.

The announcement the Schleck brothers will be joining Fabian Cancellara at the new outfit being put together by Trek – RadioShack-Leopard’s existing bike suppliers – means it will race next year with the same three star riders signed by Luxembourg-based businessman Flavio Becca when he founded Leopard towards the end of 2009.

Cancellara recovered from the multiple collarbone fracture he sustained at last year’s Tour of Flanders to become one of only two men to wear the yellow jersey at the 2012 Tour de France – the other was race winner, Sir Bradley Wiggins – and this year did the Flanders and Paris-Roubaix double for the second time.

It’s been a more challenging 12 months or so for the Schlecks.

Besides Fränk ‘s ban, since fracturing his sacrum in the 2012 Critérium du Dauphiné Andy has looked a shadow of the man who three times secured the best young rider’s jersey in the Tour de France, and was awarded the overall win for 2010 after Alberto Contador was stripped of the title.

In this year’s race, he finished in 20th position overall – 41 minutes 46 seconds behind the man who won the yellow jersey, Team Sky’s Chris Froome.

Both are looking forward to being reunited at the same team, however, with Fränk also ackowledging the continued backing the bike manufacturer – which earlier this year severed ties with Lance Armstrong – offered him during his ban.

“Andy and I feel very similar about Trek,” he said.

“We have a good relationship and we hold Trek in our hearts.

“They supported me throughout the rough period I have been through - from the people on the road to the top management.

“We wanted to return this confidence and trust by signing on to their new project.”

Andy added: "I'm happy to re-sign with the Trek family and be a part of this project.

“The jersey of the team may be different but I'm happy that a large part of this team will remain intact.

"I'm really looking forward to the future with this team," he added.

 

14 user comments

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Nice to see Trek are following the lead set by Garmin and Sky regarding dopers... Thinking

posted by headfirst [81 posts]
24th July 2013 - 8:52

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headfirst wrote:
Nice to see Trek are following the lead set by Garmin and Sky regarding dopers... Thinking

What does this even mean? It's very likely that Sean Yates and Michael Rodgers were found out to be ex-dopers or involved in doping ... and they were immediately dropped by SKY like hot potatoes. Same is true with the Dutch doctor they had.

If SKY had got Frank Shleck when he failed his drug test they would have fired him, too.

The analogy with Garmin works a little better though...

posted by Not KOM [79 posts]
24th July 2013 - 9:23

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It means a lot of rotten apples are still around I think...

posted by northstar [1083 posts]
24th July 2013 - 9:53

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It does make Trek look like nobbers though, so Leppard would not touch him but once Trek is at the helm all is ok for dirty little cheats.

Explains why it took so long to ditch Lance and their implicit involvement in crushing Greg Lemond.

posted by georgee [136 posts]
24th July 2013 - 10:08

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This is just bollocks. I thought the MPCC had a rule where you couldn't be signed for 2 years after an offence? Trek showing they've cleaned up post LA .....

Oh well I'll enjoy watching the two of them go backwards on every climb next year.

posted by MattT53 [126 posts]
24th July 2013 - 10:30

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Perversely it would be great to see them both clean and winning next year. I'd love to see the Schleck brothers become angry ruthless GC winners - in part because it life enhancing to see fortunes turn around for the positive for a change - and also, lest you think I've gone all touchy feely, because it will be hilarious to see all the trolls defending Froome and complaining about the Schlecks instead.

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1026 posts]
24th July 2013 - 10:43

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No, a comaparison with Garmin only works for riders that fess up, start anew and expose themselves to all the blood profiling etc to satisfy the DS/Doc that they are clean.

Perhaps headfirst was being sarcastic and merely noting that Trek have simply re-signed him at the end of the ban without any suggestion of preventing a recurrence.

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2929 posts]
24th July 2013 - 11:02

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He didn't do much this year ....... no medical help I suppose. It was interesting to see former front runners get blown out the back, and some new faces at the front. No super-human performances day after day. It looked like the riders actually did need to back off and recover likethecrestvof us do after a big ride.

Not sure if this means there was NO doping, but to me it was an encouraging sign, so I'm hopeful. Thinking

Endorphines going up and adrenaline going down, who needs drugs?

posted by banzicyclist2 [185 posts]
24th July 2013 - 11:11

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MattT53 wrote:
This is just bollocks. I thought the MPCC had a rule where you couldn't be signed for 2 years after an offence? Trek showing they've cleaned up post LA .....

Oh well I'll enjoy watching the two of them go backwards on every climb next year.

Bear in mind that only 11 (of 19) protour teams are members of the MPCC and RLT isn't one of them. Even so, I imagine that the rules would have been bent (or plain broken) given the nature of the offence.

As for them both going backwards: Andy has been improving every race, has shown that he can probably recover to being as good a climber as he once was. Hell, he even rode a passable TT last week.

posted by djb123 [84 posts]
24th July 2013 - 11:16

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Trek are now off my list of possible bikes, this doesn't do any good for the sport, Frank has not come out and admitted he did wrong, say sorry or anything like that, he does not deserve to ride and a manufacturer like Trek taking him back on stinks.... very poor choice in my mind.

posted by mikeprytherch [204 posts]
24th July 2013 - 11:54

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The Chemical Brothers reunited tour Big Grin

posted by Old Cranky [276 posts]
24th July 2013 - 12:07

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mikeprytherch wrote:
Trek are now off my list of possible bikes, this doesn't do any good for the sport, Frank has not come out and admitted he did wrong, say sorry or anything like that, he does not deserve to ride and a manufacturer like Trek taking him back on stinks.... very poor choice in my mind.

Trek fell off my list of possible new bikes because of LA but this only confirms things. They were very slow in dropping LA last year and appear keen to associate themselves with a doper who has neither confessed or demonstrated the merest form of contrition.

Clearly they are desperate to shift more of these:

http://trekbicyclestores.com/product/bike-eye-frame-mount-mirror-narrow-...

Surely one of the most annoying sights in the peleton is seeing these two rubber-necking to see where the other is. The cycling world has moved on though. No chance of them doing anything.

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [536 posts]
24th July 2013 - 12:27

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Even taking out all the drug issues, this is a dreadful signing by Trek. The Schlecks are done as serious GC contenders so unless they have some new promising kid coming through they've just put all their eggs in the basket of 2 has-beens

posted by VeloPeo [212 posts]
25th July 2013 - 8:55

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It looks like Trek are not too worried about GC contention in the grand tours in the near future. Unless they have some signing(s) in the pipe line that we do not know about and even then Andy and Frank would have to ride as super domestics, I am not sure they would be happy about that.

Therefore in the short term the classics would look like their main target, and a secondary target of stage wins and team prize in the the grand tours.

Their previous association with Lance Armstrong may make them cautious of going too quickly into building a grand tour contending team. However, from a marketing perspective to non bike racing fans a TDF winner riding your bike must be the dream.

THE ONLY WAY IS BIKE

posted by lushmiester [156 posts]
25th July 2013 - 11:53

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