Radio Shack – Leopard merger. Nonsense?

A Bruyneel Schleck combo?

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.

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  • beth

    Love that "self-described genius" bit!

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      Beth, the genius word was actually on Bruyneel's website for a while. It might even still be there. Matt

  • IdeaStormer Jorge

    There is no such story on the Gazzetta site, if you have the secret link please provide.

    A Luz. website did run a story on a Joe-Han sighting in Lux.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      Jorge, I picked that up from a cyclingnews story that cited the Gazzetta in their report. So if that into is wrong, then cyclingnews made the mistake. Matt

      • IdeaStormer Jorge

        Well you can't just write up CyclingNews rumors, they're the worse at verifying, just you you've been told for next time.

        Here's the Lux link: http://www.lessentiel.lu/fr/sports/story/24449038

        Not that I don't believe it will happen.

      • Kimmi

        Mr. Idea…validated rumors, isn't that an oxymoron? I thank my Cycling God's & Gazzetta for the Leopard-Radio rumors. It gives me something to ponder and get my twitters in a tweet.

        By the way love your site McTwisty . You may not have been first, but you do it best. Thumbs up!

      • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

        What? I'm not first? Damn, who is funnier than Twisted Spoke, I demand to know. Matt

      • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

        Thanks for the link. I don't think it will happen either. Matt

  • Higgins

    Radioshak..do they have enough rides to do a merger? I would be thinking more in terms of a takeover, and maybe have a superteam that can compete both sides of the Atlantic..rumours rock!!

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      Higgins, they have enough riders and with I don't think Bruyneel does mergers — he's more of a take-over kinda guy. Matt