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Italian steps up from directeur sportif role
Leopard SA, the management company behind the Radioshack-Nissan team, has appointed Luca Guercilena as team manager after parting company with Johan Bruyneel.
The Italian will step up from the role of directeur sportif and has been made responsible for sports and technical operations at the Luxembourg-registered team.
Guercilena worked as a coach at the Mapei Sports Center with the late Professor Aldo Sassi and coached the Mapei development team that included Fabian Cancellara, Filippo Pozzato and Michael Rogers.
He moved to Quick Step in 2003, working closely with Paolo Bettini and then joined Leopard Trek in 2011 and stayed with the team this year when it became RadioShack-Nissan. He was the national coach for Switzerland at both the London 2012 Olympics and the UCI world road race championships in Valkenburg.
"I have this project very much at heart, being part of it since the beginning. We have amazing human resources in this team, both on the riders and the staff roster, and I believe we have the moral duty to capitalize on this potential,” Guercilena said in a press release from the team.
"This team has gone through some rough weather, but even the hardest stages come to an end. I have talked at length with the team owner and with the title sponsors, and all parties are convinced of the new direction for the team. We want to be a solid and stable team that gets noticed for its results."
Guercilena will have to help rebuild the team after the problems of 2012 and the loss of Bruyneel following the USADA doping investigation. Andy Schleck missed the Tour de France after a crash at the Criterium du Dauphine, while his brother Frank tested positive at the Tour de France. Oliver Zaugg, Daniele Bennati and Jakob Fuglsang have left the team while Stijn Devolder has been added as a new signing.
Team owner Flavio Becca is trying to rebuild the team for 2013.
"I believe it was important to recruit from our own ranks after we parted paths with Johan Bruyneel,” he said.
“Luca is one of the most gifted coaches in cycling and he's a great mediator. I have great faith in his capacities to lead our team and to appease the buzz around our team - in the interest of our sponsors, our team members and cycling in general. We are now at the halfway point of this project and I am very optimistic and exited about what lies ahead."