The merger between Team Leopard Trek and RadioShack Nissan was supposed to create the peloton’s most dominant team—but that clearly hasn’t been the case, as internal fighting and tension continue to reportedly plague the team.
Team RadioShack Nissan Trek is still one of the best teams in the peloton but doesn’t have much to show for it from the 2012 cycling season. To make matters worse, Tour de France GC hopeful Andy Schleck is injured and can’t race, while fan favorite Chris Horner was excluded from the tour squad.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Association sent legal papers to Lance Armstrong, team manager Johan Bruyneel and others reportedly involved in a systematic doping practice within Armstrong’s former teams.
Bruyneel and the team haven’t publicly commented about the USADA investigation, but it’s clear that tensions are growing in an already difficult time. However, the news continues to cause a rift in the cycling community.
French newspaper L’Equipe said both Schleck brothers are actively looking for new teams for the 2013 season (via CyclingNews.com). Even though either brother would cost a ProTour team a hefty sum, the new team would have an immediate tour contender—likely worth the cost of the investment.
Also, team RadioShack Nissan Trek financier Flavio Becca was late paying May salaries and is facing embezzlement and financial legal problems in his native Luxembourg.
The same source reports there are now rumors circulating that the team may not be invited to ride to the Tour because of Bruyneel’s alleged involvement in the new USADA case.
After the USADA announced a new investigation into former Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, the current RadioShack Nissan Trek manager, Johan Bruyneel, faces a possible lifetime ban if he aided in systematic doping.
Instead of heading into the biggest race of the year with its superstar rider, Team RadioShack Nissan Trek has to deal with accusations, gossip and internal problems that could tear them apart through the three-week grand tour.