The future of the Leopard Trek Continental team is in doubt, with manager Adriano Baffi admitting that neither Trek nor the Leopard S.A. holding company have spoken to him about the team’s continuation into 2014.
Leopard Trek is the Luxembourg-based development squad for RadioShack-Leopard, which will be sponsored by Trek in 2014 after the American bike manufacturer purchased the team’s WorldTour licence from backer Flavio Becca.
With Becca set to leave cycling and with Trek believed to be pooling its resources into the sponsorship of the WorldTour team, Baffi acknowledged that the outlook does not appear bright for his team.
“Up to now, nobody has approached me, neither from Leopard nor from Trek,” Baffi told Tageblatt. “I’ve been in this business for a long time, and when it gets to September and nobody has spoken to you, that’s usually not a good sign.”
While the US-based Bontrager team managed by Axel Merckx and sponsored by the Trek subsidiary has found an as-yet undisclosed replacement backer for next season, Baffi said that he was not personally in a position to search for a new sponsor for Leopard Trek.
“That’s not my thing – my job lies in the field of sports, I don’t know anything about business,” said Baffi. “But when I read the newspapers in Luxembourg, I see that cycling is omnipresent there so I find it strange that there are no more sponsors available.”
Founded at the beginning of the 2012, Bob Jungels (RadioShack-Leopard) and Alexandr Pliuschin (IAM Cycling) graduated to the professional ranks at the end of its first season, while Eugenio Alafaci and Fabio Silvestre are set to join Jungels at Trek in 2014.
Meanwhile, Baffi also confirmed that Leopard Trek will not participate in the team time trial at the world championships in Florence next month, due to a clash with the Tour of China.