Leopard and Radioshack merge for 2012

Updated: Sep 06, 2011, 09:03 AM IST

Paris: Tour de France runner-up Andy Schleck`s team will merge with the United States-based Radioshack team, Lance Armstrong`s former outfit, Leopard-Trek said on Monday.

"Leopard announces that RadioShack and Nissan are joining the Leopard-Trek World Tour Team as sponsors for the 2012 and 2013 seasons," the Luxembourg team said in a statement.

"Leopard will continue to hold its existing UCI World Tour Licence. The team will be rebranded as RadioShack-Nissan-Trek Professional Cycling Team as of next year."

Leopard-Trek were created this year to help Schleck and his brother Frank in their Tour de France challenge. They finished second and third respectively behind Cadel Evans of Australia.

No details were given on who would manage the team. Radioshack were managed by Belgian Johan Bruyneel, who masterminded Armstrong`s seven Tour titles and helped Spain`s Alberto Contador to win the race twice, in 2007 and 2010.

Leopard-Trek were managed by Dane Brian Nygaard, a former press officer for Team Sky and Saxo Bank.

A combined total of 44 riders are under contract with Leopard and Radioshack. International Cycling Union (UCI) rules state that an elite team can have only 28 riders under contract.

Bureau Report