Ongoing rumors indicate that Leopard-Trek may “merge” with RadioShack. This morning’s headline in L’Equipe reads, “Leopard, c’est fini.” Leopard, it’s over. Many curious and uncomfortable issues surround this alleged merger – not the least of which is that as many as a dozen riders may be without a job, at a time when more ProTeams are folding or merging than new ones are starting.
Leopard-Trek made a splash with their coy withholding of team information followed by their debut during which they declared themselves to be the torchbearers of “true racing.” Their incarnation has been anything but: a failed superteam with more potential than victories, seemingly expected to be handed races, excelling at placing champions on the second step of the podium.
And so, discuss: should we put any faith in rumors about these two entities – one of whom has a short history of misinformation, and the other – Johan Bruyneel – a long history of smoke and mirrors? If they merge, will this result in a more interesting RadioShack? Is this good for the Schlecks but bad for everyone else, including RadioShack’s currently developing talent who may have to take another backseat in an all-for-one General Classification season strategy?
And, if Leopard-Trek is to end – is it good riddance?