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Tech News Flash – April 9, 2008

Edited by Sue George

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Trek ends relationship with Greg LeMond

By Gary Boulanger, BikeRadar.com

Trek is terminating its 13-year relationship with Greg LeMond
Photo ©: James Huang
(Click for larger image)

Trek Bicycle Corp. president John Burke announced Trek's intention to end its 13-year partnership with Greg LeMond and his LeMond bicycle brand, during an employee meeting in its Waterloo, Wisconsin, world headquarters on Tuesday.

Trek has filed suit in Federal Court in Madison, Wisconsin, to sever the company's ongoing relationship with three-time Tour de France winner.

"Beginning in 1995 we had high hopes for the LeMond partnership," said Burke. "And I am sorry it has come to this after so much hard work on the LeMond brand. But this troubling pattern of inconsistent business dealings forced us to do this, for the sake of the Trek family—our retailers, employees and customers."

BikeRadar spoke with LeMond, who is preparing a statement following the media question and answer session.

The move by Trek has come on the heels of LeMond serving Trek with a 41-page suit on March 20, 2008, to be filed in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The action filed by Trek Bicycle Corporation against Greg LeMond asks the court for declaratory judgment against LeMond and asks that the relationship be terminated due to multiple breaches of the contract. The breach of contract claims are based on LeMond's ongoing pattern of public statements and actions which Trek believes have continued to be detrimental to the Trek-licensed LeMond Racing Cycles name and trademark, to the Trek brand as a whole, and to the Trek reputation in the global bicycle market.

At the employee meeting, Burke presented a timeline of the Trek business relationship with LeMond and the development of the LeMond brand.

Before Lance Armstrong: 1995 - 1999

Trek Bicycle Corporation began its business relationship with LeMond in 1995 and, since then, has produced the LeMond Racing Cycles brand of road bikes. In 1999, the LeMond line was one of the fastest growing road bike brands and one of the top five largest road bike brands in the United States. Sales from this period went from US$0 to US$9.5 million, with a reported 700 LeMond dealers.

The presentation highlighted the ongoing issues with the relationship, its impact on the LeMond and Trek brands and the reasons for the decision to sever the relationship.

"For years, Trek has tried our best to make this relationship work," Burke said. "And for years, Greg LeMond has done and said things that have damaged the LeMond brand and the Trek brand as a whole," said Burke. “His actions are inconsistent with our values—values we believe in and live everyday. And after years of trying to make it work, we are done. It's time to sever this relationship and allow Trek to do what it does best—build the world's greatest bicycles and provide our customers with a great product and exceptional customer service."

Also see the Cyclingnews' feature on the background to these cases.

Read the documents published on Trek's website.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by James Huang / Cyclingnews