TOUR CHAMPION CONTADOR TO JOIN SAXO BANKhttp://iamspecialized.com/road/news-article/tour-champion-contador-to-join-saxo-bank Saxo Bank
| August 3, 2010
Bjarne Riis announced today in Copenhagen that Spaniard Alberto Contador
will join his Saxo Bank team for the next two years, 2011 and 2012.
"With three Tour de France victories on his resume and a position as number one on the world rankings, he is sure to stay at the very top for several years to come," said Riis. "Alberto will get a solid, strong and loyal team around him to support him in all terrain and I'm sure that this will be a fruitful alliance."
Riis continued with the good news and announced that Saxo Bank will continue as the title sponsor for one more year. The team will be known as Saxo Bank-SunGard in 2011. American software company, SunGard makes the jump from subsidiary sponsor to co-sponsor as Riis announced on the Tour de France's rest day in Morzine, July 12.
Riis welcomed Saxo Bank in June 2008 and presented his team as CSC-Saxo Bank at that year's Tour de France. Carlos Sastre won on the Alpe d'Huez and secured the overall victory for Riis that year.
"It's been a very successful sponsorship," said Saxo Bank CEO Lars Seier Christensen today. "I told Bjarne that we would not continue, but sometimes things change."
It will be a different Spaniard leading the way for Saxo Bank next year. Contador was unable to make it Copenhagen because he is currently travelling on the busy post-Tour criterium circuit, racing on his custom-painted, yellow Specialized bicycle.
"I've chosen the best option and I'm confident Riis will build a great team for 2011," Contador said in a press statement. "I'm anxious to start this new adventure with a team and some sponsors who have trusted in me. I want to show that they were not wrong."
Contador announced, July 28, two days after he won the Tour de France ahead of Luxembourg's Andy Schleck
that he will leave team Astana at the end of this year. His switch to Saxo Bank is made possible by the departure of Schleck and his brother Fränk.Andy Schleck
announced Friday that he and Fränk will leave Riis after many successful years.
Andy leaves Riis after five years and Fränk after eight. Andy finished second overall at the Tour de France in the last two years and won Liège-Bastogne-Liège last year. Fränk twice finished fifth overall, won the Tour de Suisse this year and the Amstel Gold in 2006.
Fränk crashed and abandoned this year's Tour de France on the cobbled stage to Arenberg. Andy, though, went on to hold the yellow jersey six days, win two stages, the white jersey of best young rider.
Specialized helped both Contador and Schleck through the race and will continue to support Riis' team in 2011.