Bjarne Riis is in France to win the Tour de France and not to influence potential replacement sponsors for the Saxo Bank team. He risks losing his leaders, including the Schleck brothers, though, if he fails to secure a sponsor soon.

“I don’t want to fixate on having the Schlecks in the team,” he told French paper L’Equipe. “My priority is to win in Paris with Andy.”

Luxembourg’s Andy Schleck finished second overall last year, just over four minutes behind Spain’s Alberto Contador. He is currently sixth overall after excelling in the cobbled stage to Arenberg, the same stage where his brother Fränk crashed and broke his collarbone.

Team Sky’s and Riis’ former press officer, Bryan Nygaard is creating a team based in Luxembourg for next year. It is uncertain if the Schleck brothers will join the team, but it would make sense that they would want to race for their home country.

Andy said before the Tour de France that he is in discussions with four different teams: Riis’, Nygaard’s and two yet unknown teams.

“Even if the brothers aren’t in my team in 2011, we are here to win the tour in 2010 – that’s our mission,” continued Riis.

“With our without them, I am optimistic for the future of my team. It doesn’t interest me to know what they will do in 2011. People can’t forget that this is my team. I am the leader of it with my philosophy, and that will never change.”

Saxo Bank’s Fabian Cancellara won the opening stage in Rotterdam and has led the Tour for five days now. Riis said that it was good for the team, but that finding a sponsor did not hinge on Saxo Bank performing well at the Tour de France.

“The sponsors don’t necessarily look of the names of the rider. The people I have contacted are more interested in my philosophy. They have confidence in what I do with the riders and who I sign.”

Tour de France 2010: Latest news



Cavendish strikes back in Tour de France



Thomas happy with Tour’s white jersey; but says ‘All for Brad’



Wiggins crashes on Tour stage start



Cavendish and Farrar return to top



Cavendish keeps up fight for first Tour win



Sky delivers Boasson Hagen to third without pressure



Thomas in tour’s white jersey; Wiggins gains time



Evans and Schleck gain in Tour’s hell of the north



The Feed Zone: Tour news and views (July 6)



Vande Velde abandons Tour following crash



Andy Schleck has a laugh after stage two crash



The Feed Zone: News and views (July 5)



Sky banks on Thomas ahead of cobbled stage



Cavendish’s sprint train weakened with Hansen out



Armstrong under fire as Landis allegations reach mainstream



Team Sky’s decision to put Wiggins off early back fires

Tour de France 2010: Stage reports



Stage five: Cavendish wins his first stage of Tour



Stage four: Petacchi wins into Reims



Stage three: Hushovd takes dramatic win; Thomas second on stage and GC



Stage three live coverage: As it happened



Stage two: Comeback man Chavanel takes victory in Spa



Stage one: Petacchi wins in Brussels as bunch left in tatters



Prologue: Cancellara pips Martin to win

Tour de France 2010: Photos



Stage three photo gallery



Stage two photo gallery



Stage one gallery



Prologue photo gallery

Tour de France 2010: Videos



Stage four video highlights



Stage three video highlights



Stage two video highlights



Stage one video highlights



Prologue video highlights

Tour de France 2010: Race guide



Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index



Official start list, with race numbers



Brits at the Tour 2010



Tout team guide



Tour jerseys: What they are and what they mean



Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins

Tour de France 2010: Pictures



Tour team presentation, Rotterdam



Tour teams take to the cobbles: Photo special