Road Cycling News

Radioshack Nissan Trek team bikes unveiled

Radioshack Nissan Trek’s Madone 6.9 SSL road bike and Speed Concept 9.9 time trial machine were unveiled on Friday, and the colours of cycling’s newest superteam are available through Trek’s Project One custom paint programme.

The black/red/blue scheme, which combines the marquee colours of the merged Radioshack and Leopard-Trek teams, will be emblazoned upon the squad’s bikes, which are shod with Bontrager Aeolus 5 wheels, as well as handlebars, stems, saddles, bottle cages and Oracle helmet from Trek’s in-house components company. The team are yet to confirm whether Bontrager or Schwalbe tyres will be used – the press were issued with shots of the bikes wearing both.

While the Madone 6.9 SSL and Speed Concept 9.9 are largely the same as last year’s team bikes, which were only unveiled ahead of the Giro d’Italia, the Bontrager Aeolus 5 wheels are new for 2012.

Bontrager say they’re more aero, more durable, and lighter, thanks to the D3 rim profile, Bontrager proprietary hubs, and hand assembly in Waterloo, USA.

The colour scheme is available to Trek customers on Madone 6-series and Speed Concept 9-series bikes, through all Project One retailers. Last year Trek offered customers Fabian Cancellara’s Spartacus moniker and the Schlecks’ Luxembourg-themed bike ridden at the Tour de France.

The bikes were unveiled at Radioshack Nissan Trek’s team launch, when the 30-strong rider roster was also confirmed, with brothers Andy and Frank Schleck taking centre stage alongside Cancellara, Andreas Kloden and Chris Horner.

Team boss Johan Bruyneel said: “The Tour de France is our big ambition. Our strength is in our team. We are up against strong rivals, with [Cadel] Evans and Alberto [Contador], depending on the outcome of his case. If I look at their teams, we have a very big advantage.”

Andy Schleck led the 2011 Tour de France going into the penultimate stage, a 42.5km individual time trial in Grenoble, but conceded the yellow jersey to eventual winner Cadel Evans.

The 2012 parcours features more than 100km of time trials but Bruyneel believes the race will still be decided in the mountains, pointing to his team’s strength in depth when the road tilts uphill.

“We need to get away from this obsession that there are too many time trials for Andy. The Tour can be won or lost at any moment,” he said. “With the strength of our team, we can take more advantage in the mountains than ever before. And sometimes you cannot plan those moments, you just have to put the hammer down when the moment arrives.”

The merger of Radioshack and Leopard-Trek has left Bruyneel with a wealth of super-domestiques at his disposal, including 2011 Tour of California winner Chris Horner.

Horner said: “This team is built around helping Andy Schleck win the Tour. If he has the form he had two years ago, he’ll win. If not, we’ll play some tactics to try to isolate [his rivals]. We can make those guys weaker than they’ve ever been before the final climb. Cadel and Contador have weaker teams than us – that is not opinion, that is fact.”

Radioshack Nissan Trek 2012 line-up

Jan Bakelants (BEL)
Daniele Bennati (ITA)
George Bennett (NZL)
Matthew Busche (USA)
Fabian Cancellara (SUI)
Laurent Didier (LUX)
Jakob Fuglsang (DEN)
Tony Gallopin (FRA)
Linus Gerdemann (GER)
Ben Hermans (BEL)
Chris Horner (USA)
Markel Irizar (ESP)
Ben King (USA)
Andreas Klöden (GER)
Tiago Machado (POR)
Maxime Monfort (BEL)
Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA)
Nelson Oliveira (POR)
Yaroslav Popovych (UKR)
Joost Posthuma (NED)
Grégory Rast (SUI)
Thomas Rohregger (AUT)
Hayden Roulston (NZL)
Andy Schleck (LUX)
Fränk Schleck (LUX)
Jesse Sergent (NZL)
Jens Voigt (GER)
Robert Wagner (GER)
Oliver Zaugg (SUI)
Haimar Zubeldia (ESP)

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