Rory Sutherland steps up to WorldTour with Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
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Monday, October 1, 2012

Rory Sutherland steps up to WorldTour with Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank

by VeloNation Press at 9:27 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Australian back in Europe after six seasons in North America

Rory SutherlandAustralian Rory Sutherland has inked a two-year deal with Bjarne Riis' Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank squad after serving as leader of the UnitedHealthcare team since the 2010 season.  The 30 year old is a solid all around rider who this year won the overall at Tour of the Gila and Tour de Beauce, and secured stage victories at the Tour of Utah and the U.S. Pro ​​Cycling Challenge.

"Rory is a rider who I think can be very important for our team," Riis said of his new signing.  "During the conversations we've had, I've found him to be a really good guy, straightforward and dedicated. His results also show that he is a versatile rider who can both climb and is strong on the line when he has an opportunity. So for me it was natural to give him the chance to test himself at the highest level."

In 2002 Sutherland joined the Rabobank TT3 team, Rabobank's Continental team and, after three seasons, was brought onto the then Rabobank World Tour squad in 2005.  His dreams of racing in Europe came to an abrupt halt when he tested positive for clomiphene during the Deutschland Tour that year.  He was given a 15 month ban by the Belgian Cycling Federation, where he held his racing license, and lost his contract with the Dutch team.  Following his suspension he was signed by the Health Net presented by Maxxis US Pro Continental team, which changed names to OUCH presented by Maxxis and grew into to the successful UnitedHealthcare cycling program.

"I have raced in the United States for six years and I have more or less taught myself how to commit at this level," Sutherland said of his move to Europe.  "I've had some amazing experiences and have had great support from my team, and I'm glad I could reciprocate the support with some good results. But now I also feel that the time has come to try something new and find out how far I can go at the highest level," he continued.  "I firmly believe that Bjarne Riis and Saxo Bank Tinkoff Bank is the best choice for me on this journey. I really like Bjarne's focus on team spirit, and the way the team is run appeals to me. I believe that it is an environment where I can thrive and perform at a personal level and help the team to achieve results."


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