Radio Shack – Leopard merger. Nonsense?
Where do they get these stories?
There’s a certain sensationalist quality to Italian sports journalism, a need for dramatic opera, mad passion, shocking surprise and often, pure nonsense.
Gazzetta dello Sport is reporting the possible merger of Radio Shack and Leopard Trek for 2012 but our first and last take is, unlikely, bizarre. They go as far as claiming a deal has been struck between Leopard owner Falvio Becca and self-described genius director sportif Johan Bruyneel.
Other than the fact that they both ride Treks, this seems far-fetched to Twisted Spoke. The motivation for the union is apparently not about money but results. According to the Gazzetta, Flavio– with a name like that shouldn’t he be running a disco or designing men’s colognes — isn’t satisfied with the success of the team. The thinking is that Bruyneel, with his 8 Tour victories as DS, can put Andy Schleck on the top step of the podium in Paris.
Given that the UCI roster limit for ProTeams is 30 riders and the combined Radio Shack & Leopard roster is 40, the merger would cut lose 10 guys.
Actually, make that eleven guys. Gazzetta also suggest that Leopard-Trek team manager Brian Nygaard would also head out the door and take up his former job as press officer, possibly for the new Australian team GreenEdge.
However, this is just another rumor in Gazzetta dello Sport. Possible but unlikely.