The Luxembourg crew Leopard TOGT is to disband, after failing to search out sufficient extra funding to rise to the ProTeam degree.
“2023 has been the ultimate season for Leopard TOGT Professional Biking. This determination comes after cautious consideration by the crew’s administration after not with the ability to discover extra funds to make the step as much as the UCI ProTeam degree,” a press launch said.
The closure brings an finish to a 13-year run and, after the crew merged with the Danish Riwal squad initially of this season, ends the latter crew’s 15-year historical past.
Leopard TOGT had ambitions of stepping as much as the ProTeam degree for 2024 and scored a number of promising victories – the Olympias Tour and Circuit des Ardennes with Mathias Bregnhøj however couldn’t discover one other sponsor to make the leap.
“We had nice hopes of discovering a 3rd massive sponsor. Presumably from Denmark, because the sport of biking has grown right here so much after the Tour de France Grand Départ in Copenhagen, and naturally the 2 Danish Tour de France wins of Jonas Vingegaard,” mentioned crew CEO Mogens Tveskov.
“We hoped to turn out to be a Danish-Luxembourgish stepping stone between the UCI Continental and UCI WorldTeam degree, however sadly there have been inadequate results in make this occur. This lack of funds is the one and solely purpose why the crew decides to step down and say the world of biking farewell.”
Workforce supervisor Markus Zingen, who had been with the Leopard Continental crew since its inception, mentioned, “It was in fact not straightforward to mix two well-established groups into one, however we made it occur. Since day one, the Danish and the Luxembourgish core had been on the identical wavelength, which led to the wonderful season we had. We are able to declare that the merger was a really nice success, which made the choice to drag the plug not any simpler.”
Leopard started in 2011 when an actual property magnate from Luxembourg, Flavio Becca, employed Danish press officer for Bjarne Riis’ Saxo Financial institution crew, Brian Nygaard, to launch a brand new professional crew. With Saxo Financial institution’s future nonetheless in negotations, the crew was capable of rent a robust core of riders together with Andy and Fränk Schleck, Fabian Cancellara, Stuart O’Grady, and Jens Voigt. The administration firm was dubbed Leopard SA with Nygaard its common supervisor for 2011. The crew took over/merged with the RadioShack crew for 2012, with Nygaard departing earlier than the season began.
Becca offered the crew’s WorldTour licence to Trek in 2014, and the crew went on to turn out to be what’s now Lidl-Trek.
The organisation Leopard additionally began the Continental crew in 2012, which continued by 2023.