Bjarne Riis announced during the Tour de France rest day on Monday in Morzine that he has secured a replacement sponsor for his Saxo Bank team.
“I met with our staff and riders,” said Riis, ” and told them the future of this team is secured for the next two years.”
Riis added that he will wait to announce the sponsor’s name after the Tour as per the sponsor’s request. The new sponsor will be the title sponsor and current secondary sponsor SunGard will step up as co-sponsor.
The timing of Riis’ announcement is critical as cyclists typically use the Tour de France to start looking for new teams. Riis’ key riders, though, have their contracts up for renewal and may switch teams regardless of today’s announcement.
“I am not here to talk now about what is going to happen after the Tour de France,” said Andy Schleck, who is second overall at as of today’s rest day.
“I am really happy in this team and happy for [the announcement of] Bjarne. I think if this team could not find a sponsor, it would be pretty bad for cycling.”
Schleck and his brother Fränk are rumoured to be joining a new team to be based in their home country of Luxembourg.
Team Sky’s and Riis’ former press officer, Bryan Nygaard said that he is creating a team for next year. As his head sports director, Nygaard hired Kim Anderson, who abruptly left Saxo Bank in June after six years.
Andy Schleck is concentrating on tomorrow’s Alpine stage to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and making up the 20-second defect to race leader Cadel Evans (BMC Racing). He aims to better his second overall from last year by winning the race in two weeks’ time in Paris.
He said before the race, though, that his agent Giovanni Lombardi is in discussions with four different teams: Riis’, Nygaard’s and two un-named teams.
Tour de France 2010: Latest news
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Tour de France 2010: Stage reports
Stage seven: Chavanel wins stage and takes overall as Thomas drops out of Tour’s white
Stage six: Cavendish makes it two as Tour hots up
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 seven photo gallery
Stage six photo gallery
Stage five photo gallery
Stage four photo gallery
Stage three photo gallery
Stage two photo gallery
Stage one gallery
Prologue photo gallery
Tour de France 2010: Videos
Stage seven video highlights
Stage six video highlights
Stage five video highlights
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