Contador’s wingmen Hernandez and Noval handed new Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank contracts
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Contador’s wingmen Hernandez and Noval handed new Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank contracts

by VeloNation Press at 11:59 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Spanish riders rewarded after team leader’s Vuelta success

Jesus HernandezDays after they helped guide Alberto Contador to the second Vuelta victory and fifth Grand Tour title of his career, it has been confirmed that Jesus Hernandez and Benjamin Noval have agreed new contracts with Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank.

Noval was of important use to Contador on the flatter roads of this year’s race and the 33 year old has been given a new one year deal. The 30 year old Hernandez will remain on board for three more seasons.

“It was an easy decision to renew my contract. I very much like to be part of Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank, I have some great teammates here, and I'm happy to continue supporting Alberto in the races as he is a close friend of mine,” said Hernandez, whose strength is in the mountains. “I'm really looking forward to next season and hope for some big results for the team.”

Noval has also been with the teams for two years, and says feeling at home there is a factor in his extension. “For me, Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank is in many ways one of the best teams in the world,” he explained. “Secondly Alberto is part of this team. These are the two main drivers behind my decision to stay. I feel part of a family here, I like the atmosphere, and I like the way the team and Bjarne work with the riders.”

Team owner Riis signed Contador before the 2011 season and helped him to a number of big results, including that year’s Giro d’Italia. The win was later removed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport due to Contador’s Clenbuterol case, ending his time with the team, but Riis signed the rider once again in advance of his competitive return last month.

Riis believes he can continue to win big and recognises the value of those who backed him. “Both Jesus and Benjamin have been very important in our win in the Vuelta, because of their dedication and loyalty towards Alberto and the team.

“Benjamin is the experienced and hardworking guy, who protects Alberto in the peloton, and Jesus is not only an asset on the climbs, but also a training companion of Alberto. At the same time both of them are great personalities to work with, so it was natural to renew their contracts.”

The team is expected to announce new additions to the team, with an influx of points needed to safeguard its WorldTour licence in 2013. Riis has been told by the UCI that Contador’s points won’t be considered post-suspension, meaning that the team’s most expensive rider has no value in this particular department.

Riis has indicated he may fight this in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.


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