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Leopard announces that RadioShack and Nissan are joining the Leopard-Trek World Tour Team as sponsors for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Leopard will continue to hold its existing UCI World Tour License. The team will be rebranded as RadioShack-Nissan- Trek Professional Cycling Team as of next year.

Team Leopard owner Flavio Becca comments: “As we stated in January, 2011 would be our apprentice-year. We intend to improve upon our results. In modern cycling you cannot move forward without strong sponsors. It is in this respect that today is a further milestone in the development of this exciting young project, which has gained the trust of two well-established players in the world of professional cycling. I continue to believe in the bright future of our athletes and have high expectations for the performance of this team. This is a major strategic move for all partners involved.”

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The team will continue to call Luxembourg its home.

Time trial World Champion Fabian Cancellara as well as Tour de France runners-up Andy and Fränk Schleck will continue to lead the team in its ambitious plans for the seasons 2012 and 2013. They will be joined by Tour of California Champion Chris Horner, two-time Tour de France runner-up Andreas Klöden, and National Champions Matthew Busche, Jani Brajkovic, Nelson Oliveira and Robert Wagner. The final line-up will be announced in due time.


The last stage of the Tour of China 2 saw another bunch sprint finish, with Rico Rogers as the victor and Piero Baffi as the top finisher for Leopard Trek. The team tried everything they could to move Daniel Klemme up from second to first overall, but didn’t succeed. The team takes home the team classification.

Adriano Baffi: “The stage was short: only 100km around Tianjin. We tried to attack the leader, but his team controlled without big problem. Our plan was to launch Daniel for the intermediate sprints. He got third place, just behind the overall leader, so that didn’t change things in our advantage. The whole day long the leader’s team tried to disturb Daniel in his efforts to sprint or to move up in the bunch. That was sad.”

“In the final sprint we didn’t really participate anymore. It was impossible to get yellow. Daniel finished second overall and third in the points classification. We won the team classification with the team, which is always nice!”


Dirk Bockel returns disappointed from the 2013 Ironman World Championships in Kona. He was racing very consistently between positions 5 and 7 all day, before pulling out of the race feeling sick and in pain.

Bockel was racing for 7h40 when he stepped into the medical car after about 30km into the marathon. He had come out of the water in sixth place, in a group that was closely behind the 2012 champion Pete Jacobs. He came off the bike in fifth place, just behind eventual winner Frederik Van Lierde and ran consistently in seventh place, until the pain took the best of him.

Bockel: “I had to pull out after throwing up several times during the marathon, it was horrible. Some athletes think that the drinks we get handed contained tap water, which is maybe why I had stomach problems. Usually I have a very strong stomach, but not today. Because I threw up several times, I couldn’t hold up any fluids. At some point I took a ten minutes break and drank some coke, but that didn’t make it better at all.”

Bockel also suffered from pain in the right hip. “It started during the run and it got drastically worse. I’m going to have this treated.”

“I feel pretty sore now and I’m obviously disappointed. My right hip is cooked. I’m upset, but that is racing. One day you’re on the top of the world, the next day you’re all the way down. It was a terrible day, but I will be back another day!

Frederik Van Lierde won the race in a time of 8:12:29. Luke McKenzie (+2:50) was second. Sebastian Kienle (+6:56) third.


Leopard SA is pleased to announce that the Leopard Development Team will go on as an UCI Continental Team for the 2014 season.

The team will compete mainly in European UCI races and will race primarily in Luxembourg, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. As in the past two years, the team’s roster will be composed of a mix of young riders moving up from the junior ranks and riders that come with experience.

The team will include twelve riders, of which six are Luxembourg nationals. Half of the team will be Under-23. The team will have a strong and valuable collaboration with the National Federation.

German National Markus Zingen will manage the team. “We want to stay true to the mission of a development team: offer opportunities to young cyclists to develop as athletes in a professional environment and to prepare them for a potential career in the UCI WorldTour. We will be able to offer them a balanced race program and a good team spirit.”

Leopard Development Team will have five returning riders: Piero Baffi (ITA – 08.09.90), Alex Kirsch (LUX – 12.06.92), Pit Schlechter (LUX – 26.10.90), Tom Thill (LUX – 31.03.90) and Joël Zangerle (LUX – 11.01.88).

Seven new riders are joining the ranks:
– Marco König (GER – 01.07.95): the Junior German Champion Cross & Road 2013.
– Matthias Plarre (GER – 27.01.92): Overall Winner German “Bundesliga” 2013.
– Massimo  Morabito: (LUX – 25.02.93): Lux Cross U23 Champ.
– Kevin Feiereisen (LUX – 12:04.92): Sprinter & experienced track rider.
– Dennis Coenen (BEL – 13.11.91) : all-rounder, also fast guy in the sprint.
– Patrick Olesen (DEN – 09.10.94): climber.
– Florian Salzinger (GER – 05.07.83): most experienced rider on the team. He will also take up a role as directeur sportif.

Former Luxembourg champion Tom Flammang will join the team as a directeur sportif, together with Markus Zingen.

The team’s initial race program is to be announced at a later date.