Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project confirms Cancellara is final signing for 2011
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project confirms Cancellara is final signing for 2011

by Shane Stokes at 8:08 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Swiss rider aiming to win more monuments and help ensure team takes Tour de France victory

Fabian CancellaraThe Luxembourg Pro Cycling project has followed on from this morning’s leaking of the long-expected signing of Fabian Cancellara by confirming that the world time trial champion will indeed compete with the team in 2011.

The officially announcement has been delayed for a long time, despite repeated rumours that the deal was done months ago. Cancellara disclosed to the website Sporza that he had indeed opted to continue racing alongside the Schleck brothers, and the team has now certified that is indeed the case.

“The Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project is thrilled to announce that it has signed Fabian Cancellara to a contract that will see the Swiss powerhouse riding for the team for the next three years,” it said in a statement. “By adding Cancellara’s name to the roster, the management has succeeded in gathering together one of the most formidable groups of riders in the sport today.”

Cancellara has competed alongside many of the riders with the team during his five-year tenure with the Saxo Bank team. Andy and Frank Schleck, Jakob Fuglsang, Jens Voigt, Stuart O’Grady, Dominic Klemme and Anders Lund are also making the move from the Danish to the Luxembourg squad, and that plus the presence of familiar management in Brian Nygaard and Kim Andersen meant that there was really no contest in the fight for his signature.

“I had many interesting options, but in the end I knew that the project in Luxembourg would have all the ingredients I would need to continue improving myself without skipping a beat,” he stated. “It is a unique mix of familiar personalities with new surroundings which will ensure continuity while instilling a new motivation to make this project the most successful in cycling.

He plans to continue in the same vein as he has done thus far, taking big Classics and also riding with power in time trials. Cancellara has also said that he dreams of fighting for a strong overall finish in races such as the Tour de France, but will content himself for now in trying to help one of the Schlecks win the race.

“My goal of winning more monuments is still in the forefront of my mind,” he explained. “That would be a great accomplishment, and I wanted to come to a team that would provide the structure I would need to work meaningfully towards this. In addition to that, I’m happy that the team is perfectly placed to make its mark in the Grand Tours and most importantly find the top step on the Champs Élysées; to be a part of a Tour winning team is one of the most beautiful accomplishments any pro cyclist can hope for.”

General manager Brian Nygaard is clearly delighted to have enticed the Swiss rider and four-time world TT champion across to the new setup.

“We entered into this project with the objective to become one of the best teams in the sport,” he explained. “Obviously in signing a rider like Cancellara, we have added one of the most significant athletes and personalities in professional cycling as such. He brings an amazing amount of depth and quality to the project and we’re extremely proud to have him onboard.”

Planning for 2011:

The team had previously stated that there would be 25 riders in 2011 and that number has now been reached. With the roster finalise, the planning will continue and the next step now is to help the riders to gel as a unified group.

They will soon get together in order to carry out that exercise. “We are now ready to gather everyone in Switzerland for our first team meeting. It will be important that we all get to know each other on a friendly, relaxed basis and make certain that everyone starts the season on the same page,” he stated.

Nygaard stressed that group unity and cooperation was a prime factor in deciding which riders would be on board. He’s got the professionals he wanted, and believes that the group unity the key riders showed as part of Team Saxo Bank will be seen in the new setup. “We have said many times that we were looking to sign riders who would be compatible with the core ideas of this team. I think our humble, but ambitious approach has attracted a lot of great personalities,” he explained.

“Reading over the list of riders and staff we have signed gives us the confidence to believe that we have succeeded in that initial goal. The proof is of course making it happen on the road and we will not go into the season thinking we have already won races. We are confident but keeping our feet on the ground, knowing that the hard part starts now.”

The strength of the new squad is reflected in the fact that it is ranked number one in the UCI’s hierarchy of teams for the 2011 season. The sheer depth of talent should lead to a lot of success in big events; it also means that there will have to be some very careful decisions made in selecting teams.

“As far as the quality of riders and indeed staff goes, we really are lucky enough to have a tremendous line-up of
people,” Nygaard continued. “It does mean that we have quite a responsibility living up to our own high expectations – on all levels. But we are confident in the abilities of this great group of people and proud to be taking this project forward for all the fans of professional cycling.”

The full lineup for 2012 is Andy Schleck, Frank Schleck, Fabian Cancellara, Jakob Fuglsang, Dominic Klemme, Anders Lund, Jens Voigt and Stuart O’Grady, who all come across from Team Saxo Bank, along with Daniele Bennati and Oliver Zaugg (Liquigas-Doimo), Will Clarke (Ag2r La Mondiale stagiaire), Stefan Denifl (Cervélo Test Team), Brice Feillu and Martin Mortensen (Vacansoleil), Linus Gerdemann and Fabian Wegmann (Team Milram), Maxime Monfort (HTC-Columbia), Giacomo Nizzolo, Martin Pedersen (Footon Servetto), Bruno Manuel Silva Pires (Barbot-Siper), Joost Posthuma and Tom Stamsnijder (Rabobank), Davide Vigano (Team Sky), Robert Wagner (Skil-Shimano) and Wouter Weylandt (Quick Step).

The Santos Tour Down Under is expected to be the team’s first competitive event.


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