Janez Brajkovic’s time under Johan Bruyneel's tutelage is set to end very soon, with the Slovenian rider confirming to Cyclingnews that he will be leaving the RadioShack team at the end of the season.
Brajkovic’s position on the squad has been squeezed out following the merger of the RadioShack and Leopard Trek teams. Last week there were rumours that Bruyneel had been busy shopping Brajkovic to rival squads, with Astana reported to be interested if Bruyneel will help cover part of Brajkovic’s contract. Cyclingnews understands that two French teams are also interested in signing him as they fight for precious UCI ranking points in the hope of securing a ProTeam licence in 2012.
“I’ll know more after the Worlds. I have some options but nothing has been signed yet. I’m considering other teams and we’ll see,” the rider told Cyclingnews before the start of the men’s road race.
Asked if he was upset or disappointed to leave Bruyneel in such a manner and after riding for him for a number of years, Brajkovic said: “I’m not disappointed. I think every manager would do the same if he had the chance to have this merger. Having the Schlecks and Cancellara on the team is a great thing but maybe it’s time to make a change for myself. I’ve been with Johan for a long time now. We’ll see.”
With such a powerful team for grand tours, Brajkovic would drop down the pecking order, perhaps to the same level as a rider like Jakob Fuglsang. He is set to be part of the new team RadioShack-Nissan-Trek team in 2012. He has a contract with the Leopard Trek team that will hold the UCI ProTeam licence in 2012 and has been promised the role of team leader for the Giro d’Italia.
Brajkovic has hopes of riding the Tour de France as a leader. But that would have to be with a different team.
“I still think I’d have my chances at RadioShack but on the other hand it’s pretty clear that there is only one leader for the Tour de France and I’d like to try and do the Tour for myself for the next year or two. There are two or three really good options but I can’t comment further,” he explained.