The Leopard Trek team has confirmed that Grégory Rast will join the team for 2012 and 2013, further boosting its squad for the cobbled Classics.
The 31-year-old is a former two-time Swiss national time trial champion and finished fourth in this year’s Paris-Roubaix. He is expected to provide key support to Fabian Cancellara in the spring classics after the Luxembourg-based team lost Australian veteran Stuart O’Grady to the new GreenEdge team. Rast has ridden for RadioShack for the last two years. He started his professional career with Phonak in 2003.
"It's great to be able to commit my future to Leopard Trek,” Rast said in a statement from his future team.
“I’m really proud that a big and strong team like Leopard Trek showed an interest in me. This team has some of the greatest stage racers in the world, the Schleck brothers, and with Fabian Cancellara, they have the best classic rider of the last five years. This team is really strong on every terrain.”
“The Tour of Flanders is my all-time favourite race. Over the years, I have also learned to love Paris-Roubaix. I’m really looking forward to racing alongside Fabian, who I’ve known since we were both juniors. I’m hoping to support him towards success in those races.”
Team manager Kim Andersen is convinced that Rast will provide valuable power and support next season.
“Grégory is a strong and stable rider that will fit in perfectly well with the team,” he said. “He has proven to be one of those riders that love to ride races like Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. Grégory has a big engine and he will be a worthy support rider to Fabian Cancellara in the cobblestone Classics.”
Leopard Trek previously revealed it has signed talented young Belgian rider Ben Hermans from RadioShack.