Lequatre on the hunt for new team after Radioshack/Leopard Trek merger news
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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Lequatre on the hunt for new team after Radioshack/Leopard Trek merger news

by Xylon van Eyck at 7:11 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Frenchman says UCI points system makes it hard for domestiques to find teams

Geoffroy LeguatreTeam RadioShack’s Geoffroy Lequatre is in search of a new team for next season as the news about a merger between the American team and Leopard Trek is still settling. The Frenchman said although he did not know about the merger, he spoke to team manager Johan Bruyneel before the news, who told him his contract would not be renewed.

“Yes, we have read and heard that Johan Bruyneel wanted to get rid of me but it is in fact not the case. I am simply out of contract,” Lequatre told Cyclism'Actu.

“We had an interview with Johan Bruyneel and he clearly said he would not keep me. It's always a bit difficult to accept because for two years, I worked hard and I served the whole team.

“Johan’s aim was to create a merger with another team and suddenly, there’s space for less riders. But you know, I knew for a while that I would not be retained in the team next year.”

Lequatre is a domestique on the RadioShack team, which means he primarily rides in support of team leaders rather than going for personal results. Riders who finish in a high position during World Tour races gain UCI points and take those points with them in the event of changing teams; something the 30 year old admits does not suit him in the hunt for a new team.

“This new system of cycling with the UCI points is not easy for team members like me who work only for the leaders to get points. We do not often get the opportunity to ride for ourselves. Currently, teams want to primarily recruit riders with points for the hope to remain or enter in some cases, the first division. So I'm always in a difficult position. But with my manager and agent, we work to ensure that all goes well for my future.”

Rumours started filtering through weeks ago of a possible merger between Team RadioShack and Leopard Trek. It was finally confirmed this week and there have been reports that riders and staff were left in the dark and found out the news in the media.

When asked about this Lequatre said, “I was not really aware of it. It is true that this story is quite surprising. It's still a hell of a project so naturally, we had heard a little about it. These are two of the biggest teams in the world who will join so it's intriguing and it is much talked about in the world of cycling. There will be a hell of a team next year, with many riders of great fame.

“The only thing I knew was that I was not being kept on the team. This was the case too for other riders. We felt that something huge was going on in the team. It's a shame but true. Managers have a business to run and they had to make choices that led to the merger. So yes, I felt something coming, which was perhaps not the case for everyone.”

Before joining RadioShack, Lequatre had only ridden for French teams. He has not ruled out a move back to a team from his home country but says he only expects a deal to be finalized in October.

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