After the ninth stage of the 100th edition of Le Tour de France, it is a good time to see how Trek — the world’s best bicycle brand — is fairing at the world’s most-important cycling race.
The RadioShack-Leopard-Trek squad got into the mix early in the Tour with Jan Bakelants winning stage two by just one second and also capturing the overall leader’s yellow jersey. The team also took over the lead in the team classification. It was also the 27-year-old Belgian’s first time in the Tour and the first win in his five years as a pro racer.
“I see in the final that it’s going to happen and I knew I would probably also take this yellow jersey,” he said after the podium ceremony. “I told myself, ‘Come on, hold this. It’s going to be the nicest day of your life!’ ”
“It is so incredible for me to take this jersey and to give something back to the team after all the misery I’ve had this year,” he said. “When I crossed the finish line I was overwhelmed with joy.”
RadioShack-Leopard-Trek’s best placed rider going into the first rest day is Andy Schleck, 15th place overall, four minutes behind race leader Chris Froome of TeamSky. He is riding a Trek Domane 6.9. The team is in fifth place in the Team Classification, 14:07 behind leader Movistar Team of Spain.
Andy’s brother Frank is sitting out a one-year ban from the World Anti-Doping Agency for using a banned diuretic in last year’s Tour. Frank Schleck has not been asked to rejoin the team when his ban ends July 14.
Spartacus returns to the arena:
Former world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara has announced that he has signed with Team Trek for the 2014 season. The RadioShack-Leopard team ownership has sold its racing license to Trek Bicycle Co., effective January 1, 2014. The Swiss time-trial and classics specialist extended his contract with the team for three years and expressed an interest in staying with the brand following his retirement from racing. In the spring, he rode a Trek Domane 6.9 to victory in the two biggest cobblestone classics: the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) and Paris-Roubaix.
Luca Guercilena, who will remain as team manger, confirmed the news. “Fabian signed a contract for three years, to 2016,” he told website sporza.be. “With Trek we want to score especially in the classics. Fabian plays a crucial role, he is the heart of the team. Now that Fabian has chosen for Trek, we can start to talk and negotiate with the other riders. We hope to make a nice and great team with Trek.”