Sutherland says Saxo Bank signed him for more than his UCI points
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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sutherland says Saxo Bank signed him for more than his UCI points

by Xylon van Eyck at 8:50 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
America Tour winner thinks riders should be hired on ability

Rory SutherlandPlaying down any suggestions that Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank may have signed him just for his UCI points, Rory Sutherland has insisted that his place on the team is due to his ability and potential to perform strongly as part of the squad.

The Australian won the UCI America Tour this season while riding for UnitedHealthcare and moves to the Danish WorldTour outfit in 2013, as it tries to keep its spot in the top eighteen teams in world cycling.

Asked about his new contract and the points system, Sutherland said that he believes his potential was as much a factor in his signing as any points he had. “That's a tough question. Do the points I gained help my new team? Of course they do,” he said, when asked about the issue. “But in the discussions I have had with the Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank that isn't why I was hired. I generally think riders should be hired on their ability, results and potential better than on their points.”

The move sees Sutherland return to one of the top teams in cycling for the first time since 2005, when he was on Rabobank. He proved in the USA Pro Cycling challenge that he can mix it up with the best in the sport when he won the queen stage ahead of several WorldTour riders. Sutherland said the victory was appreciated but it was never part of the plan to specifically win the UCI America Tour.

“It's something that when you are consistent, it kind of happens by itself. After the USA Pro Challenge-Tour of Colorado, in August, we figured out that I was probably leading the overall ranking. The race was a huge race with a deep field. Winning a stage there and elevating my UCI America Tour title was a manifestation of motivation.”

The 30 year old came up through the ranks in the Rabobank development cycling set up but has spent the majority of his career competing on US soil.

“I certainly love to race in the USA and I do live in Boulder, Colorado since I signed for the HealthNet-Maxxis team in 2007. There's a fantastic community and I feel very much at home.

“However I don't consider myself American. I grew up in Australia, have an Australian and British passport, lived in Belgium for five years, and lived in the USA for six. So I guess I consider myself a bit more like a citizen of the world,” Sutherland concluded.


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