The new Luxembourg team involving the dynamic brothers of Fränk and Andy Schleck has started to become more clear over the previous week with new details emerging about the team.
A new interview has emerged from Danish paper Weekend Avisen with an interview from Brian Nygaard, the Dane talked openly about the team that he and Kim Andersen are spearheading. Among other things, he talks about the money behind the project, a Luxembourger named Flavio Becca (Becco is disguise?). A man who made his fortune in real estate in and extremely astute isn't stupid when it comes to cycling (i.e. he knows what he is talking about), he hired Nygaard on Andersen's recommendation and offered him the role of director.
-The team is working with a reported 13.5 million euro budget (That is nearly 20 million $USD) which is near astronomical in cycling terms. That would put them almost right near the top of any cycling teams in the Pro Tour. To put that in perspective, that is almost 3 times the budget of Euskatel-Euskadi.
-Two businesses have been linked to the title sponsor position, according to L'Equipe: Quick, fast-food hamburger chain that is major within France and Belgium, with Luxembourg being one of the other 9 countries that they are located in. The other is a supermarket chain, Auchan (founded in Roubaix funnily enough), with whom Becca has close ties with the head which would make it likely as well. The Mulliez family, who own Auchan and is one of the wealthiest in France, have also delved into sponsorship in cycling before because they own companies such as Decathlon, whose bikes AG2R rode for many years.
-With all of the money that they will reportedly be having, this team will certainly pull a good amount of riders away from Riis and is probably making the rounds to teams like Milram and Caisse d'Epargne. You have both of the Schleck brothers with Fuglsang most likely tagging along. Its tough to speculate transfers with these new teams since they can seemingly choose anybody with the amount of money that they have. Though you have to think they need a sprinter (Bennati is a strong choice here) and if the Feillu Bros. do not reconcile with Vacansoleil, they might try to negotiate out and during the Tour were reportedly in contact with Andersen and Nygaard.
In any event, it is going to be interesting what happens with this new Luxembourg team which I am very excited about and will most likely dominate many of the headlines throughout the off-season.