Bruno Pires ready to seize opportunity with Saxo Bank SunGard
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bruno Pires ready to seize opportunity with Saxo Bank SunGard

by VeloNation Press at 9:04 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Portuguese climber joins compatriot Paulinho on Danish team

Bruno PiresIf Alberto Contador is cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the Spaniard will have additional help at his disposal in 2012 after the addition of the Portuguese rider Bruno Pires to the team.

The Saxo Bank SunGard squad has announced that the 30 year old Portuguese rider has been signed to a one year deal, moving across from the Leopard Trek team. “Bruno brings some competences that are absolutely vital to the team,” said team owner Bjarne Riis. “He is a skilled climber, which means he can be an asset for us in both the Ardennes Classics and in the mountains in a Grand Tour.

“Bruno is also a humble guy and a true team player, so I look forward to have him on the team.”

Already announced to the squad is the current RadioShack rider Sergio Paulinho. He too is Portuguese and both riders will work together in aiding others on the squad. They are likely to get their own opportunities at times, with Paulinho already having shown that he has the strength to take Tour de France stage wins and victories in shorter stage races.

Pires said that he was pleased at the confidence Riis and the team have shown by signing him. “It's an important next step in my career,” he said. “I believe that I am going to grow a great deal at Saxo Bank-SunGard, since I will be surrounded by some of the most professional and experienced people in cycling.”

Pires raced with Portuguese squads between 2002 and 2010, lining out with the ASC-Vila do Conde, Milaneza-Maia, LA Aluminios MSS Milaneza and Barbot-Siper teams in that time. Leopard Trek was his first chance to race with a foreign team and he now has another, racing with his second WorldTour squad.

He wants to build on what was a solid year, with his results including gnineteenth overall in the Critérium du Dauphine and ninth in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

“I am extremely motivated, and my personal goal as I start a new stage in my career is to help the team and the people, who gave me this opportunity,” he said. “I'm looking forward to the day we start working together.”

It is not clear how many other signings the Saxo Bank team will announce. As pointed out yesterday, if Contador has his 2011 results taken away by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the squad risks losing its ProTeam licence unless it brings high-ranking riders on board.

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