Adding to the Luxembourg powerhouse already forming with the announcement of the Schleck brothers and Jens Voigt earlier in the year, the big news now is the announcement that Spartacus will be following suit, and joining Frank, Andy, and Jens on Trek’s. More or less shaping up to be a reincarnation of team Saxo Bank, the new team will surely be a competitor and one to watch for 2011.
Check out the full press release from Leopard True Racing after the break!
The Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project is thrilled to announce that it has signed Fabian Cancellara to a contract that will see the Swiss powerhouse riding for the team for the next three years. By adding Cancellara’s name to the roster, the management has succeeded in gathering together one of the most formidable groups of riders in the sport today. “We entered into this project with the objective to become one of the best teams in the sport,” General Manager Brian Nygaard explained. “Obviously signing a rider like Cancellara, we have added one of the most significant athletes and personalities in professional cycling as such. He brings an amazing amount of depth and quality to the project and we’re extremely proud to have him onboard.” With the roster now finalized, the team can focus on consolidating its position and unifying the group. “We are now ready to gather everyone in Switzerland for our first team meeting. It will be important that we all get to know each other on a friendly, relaxed basis and make certain that everyone starts the season on the same page,” Nygaard confirmed.
Though there were many teams who would have loved to have Cancellara join their ranks, for his part the four-time World Champion for the Individual Time Trial has said that he always intended to join a team that could from day one help him grow as a cyclist and a human being. “I had many interesting options, but in the end I knew that the project in Luxembourg would have all the ingredients I would need to continue improving myself without skipping a beat,” Cancellara said. “It is a unique mix of familiar personalities with new surroundings which will ensure continuity while instilling a new motivation to make this project the most successful in cycling.” Since it shares a similar vision for the composition of the team, the management feels that good relations among the staff and riders will go a long way towards securing the success of the venture. “We have said many times that we were looking to sign riders who would be compatible with the core ideas of this team. I think our humble, but ambitious approach has attracted a lot of great personalities,” Nygaard said. “Reading over the list of riders and staff we have signed gives us the confidence to believe that we have succeeded in that initial goal. The proof is of course making it happen on the road and we will not go into the season thinking we have already won races. We are confident but keeping our feet on the ground, knowing that the hard part starts now.”
With his outstanding success both as an individual time trialist and as a Classics rider, Cancellara will be looking to add new depth to his already impressive palmarès. “My goal of winning more monuments is still in the forefront of my mind,” he explained. “That would be a great accomplishment, and I wanted to come to a team that would provide the structure I would need to work meaningfully towards this. In addition to that, I’m happy that the team is perfectly placed to make its mark in the Grand Tours and most importantly find the top step on the ChampsÉlysées; to be a part of a Tour winning team is one of the most beautiful accomplishments any pro cyclist can hope for.”
When it comes time to select the squads for the biggest races like the Tour, the Giro and Paris-Roubaix, the team management will be in the enviable position of having a surfeit of qualified riders from which to choose. “As far as the quality of riders and indeed staff goes, we really are lucky enough to have a tremendous line-up of people,” Nygaard added. “It does mean that we have quite a responsibility living up to our own high expectations – on all levels. But we are confident in the abilities of this great group of people and proud to be taking this project forward for all the fans of professional cycling.”