Tiago Machado has confirmed that he will ride for the RadioShack-Nissan-Trek squad for the next two seasons. Like many of his RadioShack teammates, the Portuguese rider’s future was uncertain following the announcement that the team would merge with Leopard Trek ahead of the 2012 campaign.
“This is what I wanted, so I’m very happy and I want to thank Johan Bruyneel publicly for the confidence he has always shown in me,” Machado said, according to velofutur.es.
Although Machado had signed a new contract with RadioShack before the Tour de France, the merger with Leopard Trek meant that he had further discussions with Bruyneel before confirming his plans.
“I have a contract with them since before the Tour,” he said. “After the announcement of the merger between RadioShack and Leopard it was necessary for us to sit down and talk again about the future.”
The 25-year-old explained that the decision to extend his stay at the team was a logical one given the progress he has made over the past two years.
“I know them and they know me, and since we’re all happy, it makes sense to keep working together,” Machado said. “It’s true that in 2012 there will be a lot of new developments with the merger of RadioShack and Leopard but this has only increased the team’s sporting potential.”
Machado signed for RadioShack at the beginning of the 2010 season after impressing on the Portuguese circuit. He has delivered a string of solid results in short stage races since and finished 20th in this year’s Giro d’Italia.
“Two years ago I was in Portugal and it was Bruyneel who gave me the opportunity to ride the biggest races on the calendar and I’ll always be grateful for that.”
While Machado has confirmed that he will continue in the Bruyneel stable in 2012, one rider believed to be on his way out is Janez Brajkovic. The Slovenian, who won the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2010, is understood to be close to signing with Astana.