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The Leopard-Trek is born and creates high expectations!

Added: friday 07 January 2011 at 1:00:00
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    The Leopard-Trek is born and creates high expectations!In 2011 a new cycling team sees the light. Officially known and registered at the UCI as the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project and also more recently known as Leopard True Racing, it's officiall name will finally be Leopard-Trek. Indeed, the bike manufacturer becomes a co-sponsor and we thus see it's name written next to the name of the company behind the team.

    A quick overview of the team presentation and of the riders in the team.

    The expectations created by the team

    In order to be able to seize at its maximum the calm period of the interseason and thus an important media coverage, the team announced since 20 October 2010 (20/10/2010) the signings of different riders ... in small groups of 1, 3 or 4 riders (on 20 October it was Bruno Pires, Daniele Bennati, Davide Viganò and Giacomo Nizzolo's turn). The information was sent out to the world through the Twitter accounts created by Brian Nygaard (the general manager of the team) and Ken Sommer (marketing manager of the team) and via cyclingnews.com before being published by an important chunk of the specialised press which apparently was eagerly waiting each time something new was published.

    The next day, the address www.leopard.lu has been announced for the team's web site.

    When the site was launched on 21 October 2010, its design was sober with a small Leopard True Racing logo in the upper left corner and a big photo of the Passo del San Gottardo in Switzerland.

    The announcements of new riders continued on 22 October (Jens Voigt), 25 October (Maxime Montfort, Wouter Weylandt & Dominic Klemme), 29 October (Jakob Fuglsang, Linus Gerdemann & Fabian Wegmann), on the 1st of November (Stuart O'Grady), 3 November (Will Clarke, Stefan Denifl & Brice Feillu), 5 November (Anders Lund, Tom Stamsnijder & Martin Mortensen), 23 November (Oliver Zaugg & Joost Posthuma), 26 November (Robert Wagner & Martin Pedersen) and on 30 November finally with the long expected Fabian Cancellara.

    For the Schleck brothers (Andy & Fränk), their presence in the team was publicly known already before all these announcements.

    Early December all riders and the staff of the team got together in Crans Montana in Switzerland for the first training camp. On the web site side, things have changed a bit just after the team announced on 18 December that the team presentation which took place today would be open to the public.
    Leopard True Racing gets into the gear
    Leopard True Racing gets into the gear
    (click on the image to zoom in)


    On 21 Decembre, 4000 places have been put up for sale (delivery costs only, entry for free) via the site ticket-regional.lu which literally suffers from the high demand and all places have quickly been sold out.
    Leopard True Racing gets into the gear - tickets Leopard True Racing gets into the gear - sold out
    Leopard True Racing gets into the gear: the places quickly get sold out!
    (click on the images to zoom in)

    For the time being, the complete web site is still work in progress by the way.

    The presentation of the team

    Today the long expected moment was there and Brian Nygaard continued to build up the expectations with his message this afternoon: A great day in Lux with a group of amazing people who I think will shape the future of cycling. Leopard-Trek is right here, right now.

    Early this afternoon the official press conference took place during which the name of the team, Leopard-Trek, has been announced. The riders were dressed up in a suit with a scarve, provided by DAY Birger et Mikkelsen, one of the sponsors of the team. To the biggest deception of the photographers by the way, because they expected to be able to take their first pictures of the new Leopard-Trek team jersey. Too bad, in Luxembourg they decided to not show it before the official presentation to the public tonight.

    Nygaard continued with his unlimited optimism and declared during this conference: With the riders we have in the team, we can win all races of the cycling calendar, from the very first till the last. We'll thus try to be competitive in many races and put our stamp on the biggest events (source: L'Equipe).

    After this press conference, Philippe Brunel (journalist at the French sports newspaper L'Equipe) apparently was convinced of the team's potential because he declared: the Schleck brothers will shine a new light on the world's cycling scene with their illuminated characters ...
    Leopard-Trek's bike - source Trek Bicycle Corporation
    Tonight's presentation was a real show because the official parties with the presentation of the jersey, the sponsors and the riders, were interrupted by circus acts ... it was almost as if the Cirque du Soleil cancelled their show tonight to be able to be in Luxembourg!

    The leaders of the team were the last riders to be presented: Fränk and Andy Schleck and Fabian Cancellara.
    Fränk Schleck told what he thought about the team which was built up around him, his brother and Spartacus: it's a dream which becomes truth, there's a good atmosphere in the team, we already saw that in Crans Montana and we see it once more here at this presentation.

    These three riders came on scene with the Trek bike which will be theirs for the year: the Trek Madone 6.9 SSL Team Edition (and the Speed Concept 9 Series Team Edition for the time trials; during the presentation, this bike was presented by Fabian Cancellara and he simply said about it: it's fast ...). These bikes will be equiped with Bontrager (a Trek brand) components such as the wheels, a Duo Trap sensor which provides information about speed and cadence, the seat, the steer, ...


    The bike will furthermore be equiped by Shimano for the transmission with electronic Di2 derailleurs. Together with the Duo Trap sensor that gives a lot of electronics on the bike and the joke with Fabian Cancellara and his so-called motor was thus easy to make ...

    And Pat McQuaid's presence?
    During the presentation, which was broadcasted live on the RTL Luxembourg web site, we could see that Pat McQuaid, the President of the International Cycling Union (UCI) assisted to the presentation. As far as I know he won't assist to the presentation of all UCI ProTeams and it's thus not surprising that people say he's favouring one team over the others ... The UCI should be independant, let's hope the international federation will pay attention to that.

    The riders

    29 riders will form the Leopard-Trek team in 2011:
    • Luxembourg
      > Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank)
      > Fränk Schleck (Saxo Bank)
    • Germany
      > Linus Gerdemann (Milram)
      > Dominic Klemme (Saxo Bank)
      > Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank)
      > Robert Wagner (Skil-Shimano)
      > Fabian Wegmann (Milram)
    • Australia
      > Stuart O'Grady (Saxo Bank)
      > Will Clarke (Genesys Wealth Advisors / stagiair AG2R La Mondiale)
    • Austria
      > Stefan Denifl (Cervélo TestTeam)
    • Belgique
      > Maxime Monfort (HTC-Columbia)
      > Wouter Weylandt (Quick Step)
    • Denmark
      > Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank)
      > Anders Lund (Saxo Bank)
      > Martin Mortensen (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team)
      > Martin Pedersen (Footon-Servetto)
    • France
      > Brice Feillu (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team)
    • Italy
      > Daniele Bennati (Liquigas-Doimo)
      > Giacomo Nizzolo (néo-pro)
      > Davide Viganò (Team Sky)
    • The Netherlands
      > Joost Posthuma (Rabobank)
      > Tom Stamsnijder (Rabobank)
    • Portugal
      > Bruno Pires (Barbot-Siper)
    • Switzerland
      > Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)
      > Oliver Zaugg (Liquigas-Doimo)

    The jersey/team kit

    The Leopard-Trek team kitThe team's jersey is simple with the upper part in black, a clear blue line and the lower part white. The shorts are black with grey lines on the side.

    On the collar of the shirt we'll find the first name and the flag of the country of origin of the rider. Team Sky does better in helping people to recognise a rider (yes indeed, apparently not everyone manages to recognise them without seeing their name!).

    Starting tomorrow, the team will have a new training camp on Mallorca. From the Tour Down Under we'll see whether the team Leopard-Trek manages to live up to the expectations it created itself and whether it really is the number one team as shows the teams ranking at the start of this season .... Will the team do better in living up to the expectations than Team Sky which had quite a deceptive season after an impressive entry in the professional cycling world?

    The video

    A summary of the team presentation in video:


    And as a bonus ... the team car (photo published tonight by Tom Stamsnijder):
    The Leopard-Trek cycling team car
    The Leopard-Trek cycling team car
    (click on the image to zoom in)


    source website screenshots: © 2011 LEOPARD TREK

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Team presentations 2011 | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati

Comments

Currently 1 comments!
  1. Bonsoir à tous je m'appelle OPHELIE et je vais bientôt avoir 28ans. Aujourd'hui au GP JOSE SAMYN j'ai pu m'approcher des vélos de vos coureurs et j'ai eu l'immense joie d'avoir l'autographe du vainqueur du GP JOSE SAMYN. Toutes mes félicitations à votre chouette équipe. A bientôt. OPHELIE CRETU

    | OPHELIE | wednesday 02 March 2011 at 20:20:47

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