Team manager of the American-registered team Trek-Segafredo, Luca Guercilena, has announced that he will step down from his role after being diagnosed with cancer.
The Italian, 48, revealed in a statement on the Trek-Segafredo website that he will be taking a break from the sport to focus on recovering from the illness. He revealed that is was Lymphoma, a cancer that targets the Lymph glands in the body.
In the statement, Guercilena said: "After so many years travelling around the world, following the races alongside my team, it’s time for me to take a break. A few days ago I started to fight against a strong enemy, a lymphoma, which will require all my efforts and the warmth of my family, lifelong friends and Trek-Segafredo team-mates.
"It will take time, but I’m relieved that the team is in very good hands thanks to an experienced group of people that will lead until I am back."
Guercilena began his cycling career twenty years ago at the Italian/Belgian team of Mapei - Quick-Step, before moving over to the then called Leopard-Trek team in 2011. Guercilena is a rare breed of team manager as he did not have a career in racing himself.
Since then, the team has performed brilliantly with Monument wins at Il Lombardia by Bauke Mollema, Milan-San Remo with Jasper Stuyvan and now-retired Fabian Cancellara at Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders, as well as various wins from former world champion Mads Pedersen.
Some of cycling's biggest names have paid tribute to Guercilena on Twitter since Tre-Segafredo posted the statement. Those included Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), WorldTour teams as well as lower ranked squads, former UCI president Brian Cookson, former pro Stuart O'Grady, Deceuninck - Quick-Step boss Patrick Lefevere, Toms Skujiņš, the rest of the Trek-Segafredo team and many more besides.
Please join us in wishing Luca all the best for a good recovery ❤️https://t.co/Bp94zbuaCEAugust 21, 2021
Sagan said: "Forza Luca! I am sending you my best wishes for an easy and speedy recovery."
O'Grady added: "Luca, You’ve shown strength and support to so many people for many, many years. I’m sure that same strength will help you fight this also. Stay strong. From the O’Grady family and everyone at the Tour Down Under team."
Latvian national champion and Trek rider Skujiņš said: "Luca always encouraged us to keep fighting no matter what. Please send some love his way now!"
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