Mercedes not impressed by Radioshack-Nissan-Trek merger with Leopard Trek
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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Mercedes not impressed by Radioshack-Nissan-Trek merger with Leopard Trek

by Shane Stokes at 8:44 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Luxembourg team sponsor says ‘consequences must now be discussed’ of broken contract

Leopard TrekIt appears that it was not only some of the riders who were taken by surprise at the news that the Radioshack and Leopard Trek teams were to undergo a merger of sorts at the end of the year. One of the existing sponsors has said that it also heard nothing about the deal, which hands a business rival a platform that they themselves would have had.

The company in question is Mercedez Benz Luxembourg, which signed a long-term deal with Leopard Trek last year but now looks set to be ejected, despite no prior consultation.

The company supplied the team cars, the bus and other vehicles to the team this year and received considerable exposure as a result. It expressed its astonishment at what had been announced two days ago. “The Mercedes-Benz Luxembourg SA notes with surprise the release of Leopard SA from the 05.09.2011, which notes that RadioShack and Nissan are two main sponsors with the team from 2012.

As noted by Radsport News, Mercedes Benz underlined that it has an agreed sponsorship agreement running for two more years. “The consequences of the recent decisions of the Leopard SA must now be discussed between the parties,” it warned.

It’s clear that with Nissan coming on board, the team vehicles will be supplied by that manufacturer.

Riders and staff were also taken by surprise at the news, event if recent press reports made it was clear that something unusual was brewing. Several riders said that the events meant that they are now left without a team for next year, necessitating a tricky late-season search. The same applies for the large number of staff.

Meanwhile chief backer Flavio Becca confirmed yesterday to RTL Luxembourg that the previous general manager Brian Nygaard was no longer part of the team. The Dane is tipped to be heading to GreenEdge to work as its press officer. He had held the same role with the CSC and Sky Procycling teams prior to being brought on board by Becca to help set up Leopard Trek.

Nygaard has not yet commented on the matter.

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