After three months off the bike and plenty of re-shuffling, re-organizing and re-vitalizing, it’s finally time for the cycling season to begin for RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK. Tonight, the team, the new kit and the team bikes were presented to 5,000 enthusiastic fans at the ‘Rockhal’ in Esch-Sur-Alzette, Luxembourg. After the presentation, a surprise concert by Karl Bartos (Kraftwerk) put a musical end to a successful night.
While the riders have had time to return home and spend time with family and friends, behind the scenes the management and staff of RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK have been very busy preparing for a super season of racing. Directors have met with riders and penciled out tentative race schedules, kits have been designed, casual clothing has been sized and delivered, bikes have been produced and logistics have been put into play. With everything in place, now it’s time to start the season.
With more than 250 racing days on the calendar, there are plenty of opportunities for the team riders to shine throughout the year. First out of the gate is the World Tour Santos Down Under, January 15 to 22. RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK plans to send Daniele Bennati, Linus Gerdemann, Jan Bakelants, Tiago Machado, Hayden Roulston, Jesse Sergent and Jens Voigt to compete in this season opener that plenty of riders love to participate in as they escape the winter cold of Europe for the summer season in the Southern Hemisphere. Best of luck to the team riders in the inaugural representation of RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK in Adelaide!
The 2012 season is looking very promising, with a very exciting Classics season in March and April as the first big chapter. Expect plenty to report about during Milan-Sanremo (March 17), E3 Prijs Harelbeke (March 23), Gent-Wevelgem (March 25), Ronde van Vlaanderen (April 1), Paris-Roubaix (April 8), Amstel Gold (April 15) and Liège-Bastogne-Liège (April 22).
In May comes the Amgen Tour of California (May 13 through 20th), where Chris Horner will defend his title, and the Giro d’Italia (May 5 through 27), where the team will hold a special thought to their fallen team mate Wouter Weylandt.
As June rolls around and national championships take place, the main focus will be on the lead-up races prior to the June 30th start of the 99th Tour de France in Parc d’Avroy, in the heart of Liège. With the full support of a team designed to put Andy Schleck in the maillot jaune in Paris on July 22nd, leaving behind three second-place finishes, July’s Tour promises to bring exciting daily racing for three solid weeks, covering a total distance of 3479km/2160mi. While Andy is our key player in the drama unfolding on the roads of France, make no mistake that other perfectly capable support riders are ready to step in if called to do so. With the likes of brother Fränk, Andreas Klöden, Haimar Zubeldia and Chris Horner all previous podium or top ten finishers, the team’s top priority is to win in Paris.
No break after the Tour, as 2012 is an Olympic year and no doubt from July 27 to August 12 there will be opportunities to see riders from RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK represent their home countries in the XXX Olympiad in London. While not a “team” event, the Olympics hold a special place in every pro athlete’s heart and we hope to see many of our riders enjoy being Olympians and going for the gold. Fabian Cancellara is the defending gold medalist from the Beijing time trial and would certainly love to add to his medal collection.
Highlights in the last part of the season will be the Vuelta a España (August 19 through September 9), the World Championships in Valkenburg (with the first edition of the Team Time Trial for UCI Teams), and Il Lombardia (September 29).
While many people look to the new year to make resolutions and declarative statements about what they hope to accomplish but quickly forget about their resolve, the goals for RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK remain constant throughout the year: race hard, win with integrity and put on a great show for the RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK fans.
Photo © Christy Nicholson / Echelon Design