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The team with no name has signed three sport directors to lead the as-of-yet-untitled Luxembourg-based program centered around the Schleck brothers.
Luca Guercilena, Torsten Schmidt and Lars Michaelsen will join team manager Kim Andersen in the new squad still only known as the “Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project.”
“We are very lucky to have attracted Luca Guercilena to this team,” general manager Brian Nygaard said in a team statement. “With his background and depth of knowledge on the sporting as well as physiological level, he will have a huge impact on the success of the team. Luca was one of the first people I had in mind when this team became reality and I’m thrilled to have him on board. To me, Luca really personifies a lot of what this team is about.”
Guercilena comes across after working at Mapei and Quick Step as a sport director and trainer. Torsten Schmidt and Lars Michaelsen, a German and Dane respectively, both leave Saxo Bank.
“Ultimately it was a professional decision because this new team interests me enormously and I am very motivated to work with the sort of general classification riders who will be on the team.” Guercilena said. “Today, it is normal for a team to have a directeur sportif who has a background in sports medicine and works as a trainer for the riders too. But back then I think we were the first to have a trainer with the competence of a sports director.”
Schmidt and Michaelsen are both former pros and will leave Bjarne Riis’s Saxo Bank team to line up with the Schleck project.
Their departures are just the latest in a mass exodus of riders and staff out of the Riis squad to create the new Luxembourg-registered team. So far, the title sponsor is not yet known, though officials have revealed that Mercedes-Benz and Trek bicycles will be major co-sponsors.
Frank and Andy Schleck will headline the team that also includes ex-Saxo Bank riders Jens Voigt, Stuart O’Grady, Jakob Fulgsang and perhaps Fabian Cancellara on its roster.