TBL Trek Tour de France Update for July 17, 2013

While Team RadioShack-Leopard has struggled in the Tour as individual riders, the team is now neck-and-neck with Alberto Contador’s Saxo-Tinkoff squad in the prestigious Overall Team Classification after Wednesday’s 17th individual time trial stage. With just four stages left, the Trek-riders are only 82 seconds behind Saxo-Tinkoff in the team standings. Andy Schleck looks to be gaining strength, finishing 15th in the ITT, just 2.27 minutes behind stage winner and yellow jersey Chris Froome.

But there are still some great challenges ahead, especially todays 175 km mountain stage that climbs the daunting l’Alpe d’Huez twice, followed by a 204 km leg-killing stage on Friday from the village of Bourg-d’Osians (at the foot of l’Alpe de Huez) to the ski resort of Le Grande Bornand.

The Bike Lane Trek Tour de France Update

Team RadioShack-Leopard 2013

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!’ ”

Bakelants got the win riding a Trek Madone 7.9 with Bontrager components and Aelous wheels.
Trek Madone Project One Team Radio Shack

“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: 

Winning the Paris-Robaix

Spartacus celebrating his win at Paris-Robaix

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.”
Fabian Cancellera