Michael Rogers’ move to Saxo-Tinkoff confirmed
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Friday, December 07, 2012

Michael Rogers’ move to Saxo-Tinkoff confirmed

by Ben Atkins at 7:43 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Australian quits Team Sky despite role played in Bradley Wiggins’ Tour success

michael rogersAs has been much-speculated recently, Michael Rogers has indeed signed for Team Saxo-Tinkoff on a two-year deal, the Danish team has confirmed. The Australian three-time former World time trial champion has spent the last two years at Team Sky, where he played a big part in the success of Bradley Wiggins this year.

Despite being road captain for the British team as it guided Wiggins to Tour de France victory, he has decided to move on.

"I'm very excited to be joining an extremely strong and experienced squad at Team Saxo-Tinkoff for the coming seasons,” said Rogers. “I feel I can have a positive effect particularly during stage races ranging from just a few days right through to the Grand Tours. I certainly look forward to the many new challenges that lay ahead.”

Team Sky has not commented on the situation, but the Australian’s move is likely to lead to rumours that he has quit the British team due to its recently introduced zero-tolerance policy. This has seen the departure of directeur sportif Steven de Jongh and coach Bobby Julich, who admitted having doped during their racing careers, while directeur sportif Sean Yates has also retired for personal reasons.

Rogers has admitted working with notorious doctor Michele Ferrari in the early years of his career, but has always denied that he used any doping products.

Having been such a strong helper for Wiggins in the mountain stages of most of the races he took this year - as well as finishing fifth in the Tour de Romandie, and second in the Critérium du Dauphiné behind the British rider, and winning the Bayern-Rundfahrt for himself - Rogers will be expected to play a similar role for Alberto Contador in the next two seasons.

"I think Michael's palmares pretty much speaks for itself,” said Saxo-Tinkoff team owner Bjarne Riis. “He is without a doubt a World Class rider, a very strong time triallist, who is also capable of climbing, and on top of that he is a great guy. Surely he will add strength to our team throughout the season, and I believe he will be a very important rider for us, both when it comes to helping Alberto in Grand Tours and to secure results on his own.”

Saxo-Tinkoff will find out if it is to keep its place in the WorldTour on Monday, December 10th, when the International Cycling Union (UCI) makes its final announcement. Having been ranked 20th in the UCI’s sporting criterion ranking - with Contador’s post-suspension points not counted - the Danish team is rumoured to be up against Dutch team Argos-Shimano in the race for the final place. Should it miss out, Saxo-Tinkoff would have to rely on wildcard invitations in order to ride the biggest races of the year.

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