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Johan Bruyneel – “It started with an idea”


At the recent RadioShack-Nissan-Trek training camp “The Boss” Johan Bruyneel was open to just about any questions. A collection of around a dozen journalists assembled in the Diamante Hotel in Calpe, Spain for a good old chat.

Can you explain how the combining of the two teams all happened?

“How it Happened! How much time do we have?

“It actually happened by coincidence and a little by surprise, as far as I’m concerned. But then if you think about it, it wasn’t so much of a surprise.

“We had the team Leopard-Trek in their first year, who in my opinion had a pretty good season; first of all they had good riders. It’s easy to criticise the lack of big victories, but if you think how close they were; Cancellara gets second in Milan-San Remo, third in Flanders, second in Roubaix, to name these three big races.

“Andy gets second and Frank third in the Tour de France. So, I wouldn’t say it was a disappointing season, any team would have been happy with these results, but the big victory was not there.

“We on the other hand had a commitment before the Tour de France, at the end of the month of May we had the commitment from RadioShack and Nissan to renew for two more years and we had the common factor which was our bike manufacturer.

“We have a long history with Trek and that is how we actually got together. It started with an idea, maybe a crazy idea, but sometime when you start to talk to different people about a crazy idea it doesn’t seem so crazy or impossible anymore.

“We got together to talk and it looked like this could be something that could work and if it does work it’s something that could be good for everybody. The talks were happening with Flavio Becca, the owner of the team, with Trek and our other sponsors.

“Everybody was open to consider it and to think about all the advantages and they could see it was feasible and it was something we could bring to an end. Then you start to work on it and it’s not so easy!

“Now we are sitting here after four months of hard work and I’m happy about the result. It was a long process and some people don’t like certain new ideas, in general change is something that frightens people, you get out of your little comfort zone, but I think change is good, if you keep doing the same thing for years and years you keep getting the same result, if you don’t try anything new you won’t get any better.

“Now we even have this Continental team (Leopard-Trek development team). When I think back to when we started to talk in August, we have come a very