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Leopard and RadioShack to form cycling super-team

The Luxembourg-based outfit will be named RadioShack-Nissan-Trek and will boast Switzerland’s Olympic champion Fabian Cancellera as well as Luxembourg brothers Andy and Frank Schleck, who came second and third, respectively, in this year’s Tour de France for Leopard-Trek. Tour of California winner Chris Horner and two-time Tour de France runner-up Andreas Kloden are among the stars at US-based RadioShack.

“Leopard announces that RadioShack and Nissan are joining the Leopard-Trek World Tour Team as sponsors for the 2012 and 2013 seasons,” read a statement released by the Luxembourg team on Monday evening. “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 owner Flavio Becca, who has steered the team through its first full season, added: “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.”

Becca continued: “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.” Financial and management details were not disclosed, but a total of 44 riders are currently under contract with Leopard and Radioshack. According to International Cycling Union rules, an elite team can have only 28 riders under contract.