Trek Bicycle Corporation sponsored both Leopard Trek and RadioShack-Nissan last year so it was no surprise when the two teams merged during the off-season to learn that the Wisconsin company would carry on in that role for 2012.
Returning Leopard Trek riders shouldn't have to make any adjustments, as aside from cosmetics, virtually every piece of equipment is carried over from the 2011 season. Anchoring the entire package is Trek's top-end Madone 6.9 SSL frame, dressed in a complete Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic group.
Team bikes also feature a wide array of components from the company's parts and accessories arm, Bontrager, including the new Aeolus wide-profile carbon tubular wheels, handlebars, stems, saddles, and even bar tape. Bontrager also supply the computers, with DuoTrap integrated cadence and speed sensors.
Finishing bits include Schwalbe tires, Cane Creek headsets and Trek BAT bottle cages. The latter is a curious choice in terms of cost – it's one of Trek's least expensive options – but one that makes more sense when you consider the reasonable weight and very secure grip.
Team leader Andy Schleck's bike looks to be largely unchanged from when we profiled it during last year's Tour de France in terms of both the build and positioning. We didn't have a chance to put team bikes on the scales during the 2012 media presentation but we expect weight to be just barely UCI-legal at around 6.86kg.
As before, Trek will offer team replica bikes to the public via their Project One program. Suggested retail price (sans pedals) is US$11,686.48. Check out our image gallery for lots more photos of the team Madones.
Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2 electronic group got a slow start in the pro peloton but has now almost completely supplanted the mechanical version at the top levels of the sport