Team Luxembourg edges closer to Cancellara announcement
Fabian Cancellara on podium, Tour de France 2010, stage 6
The still unnamed Luxembourg-based team of Fränk and Andy Schleck is edging towards the announcement of Fabian Cancellara's contract. The Swiss Olympic and World Champion is likely next after yesterday's announcement of three more riders.
It "has signed three of the most accomplished young racers on the circuit," the team said in a press release to confirm it signed Dane Jakob Fuglsang and Germans Fabian Wegmann and Linus Gerdemann. Their arrival brings the count of riders officially with the team up to 13.
Confirmed riders on team Luxembourg:
Fränk Schleck (from Saxo Bank)
Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank)
Davide Viganò (Sky)
Daniele Bennati (Liquigas-Doimo)
Giacomo Nizzolo (amateur)
Bruno Pi res (Barbot)
Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank)
Maxime Monfort (HTC-Columbia)
Wouter Weylandt (Quick Step)
Dominic Klemme (Saxo Bank)
Fabian Wegmann (Milram)
Linus Gerdemann (Milram)
Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank)
Both Gerdemann and Wegmann come from German team Milram, which is ending five years in the sport.
Gerdemann said, "I want to win stage races and win the Tour de France with the team." He wore the yellow jersey for one day at the 2007 Tour de France after winning the Le Grand-Bornand stage. He won the Tour of Germany in 2008 and this year a stage at the Tirreno-Adriatico.
Fuglsang joins the team after two years with his country's team, Saxo Bank. He is the fifth rider so far to switch from Saxo Bank and is unlikely the last.
Fabian Cancellara - this year's winner of the Worlds time trial, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and many other races - announced a month ago that he annulled his contract a year early with Saxo Bank's boss, Bjarne Riis. He reportedly paid €3 million to annul his contract, though, this week, Belgium's Het Nieuwsblad newspaper calculated it was around €1.83 million, or one and a half times his 1.2m-euro contract he had with Riis for next year.
Sky's and Saxo Bank's former press officer, Brian Nygaard is the team's General Manager and he would have agreed on the €1.83 million payment before Cancellara announced his split with Riis. All that remains now is for Nygaard and the team to announce Cancellara's arrival.
The team will also announce its official name and rest of the staff soon. Eight other riders are linked with the new team.
Anders Lund (Saxo Bank)
Stuart O'Grady (Saxo Bank)
Joost Posthuma (Rabobank)
Tom Stamsnijder (Rabobank)
Robert Wagner (Skil-Shimano)
Brice Feillu (Vacansoleil)
Martin Mortensen (Vacansoleil)
Matteo Tosatto (Quick Step)