Duggan open to offers for 2014 but would love to stay with Team Saxo Bank
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Friday, July 26, 2013

Duggan open to offers for 2014 but would love to stay with Team Saxo Bank

by Shane Stokes at 3:24 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Tinkoff Bank departure causes budget uncertainty for team and its planning

Timmy DugganThe 2012 USPRO road race champion Timmy Duggan is currently looking out for a contract for 2014, with his current deal with Team Saxo Tinkoff due to expire at the end of this year.

“My contract with Saxo is up at the end of the year, so I'm in the process right now of sorting 2014,” he told VeloNation today, one day before beginning the Tour de Pologne.

Duggan joined the Danish squad prior to the start of this year, being snapped up after his deal with the SpiderTech C10 team fell through when the Canadian outfit stopped.

He said that his preferred option would be to remain with Saxo Tinkoff, but indicated that there is an uncertainty about the budget after its second sponsor, Oleg Tinkov, said this week that he would not renew.

“I’d love to stay with Saxo,” he said, adding that he was unsure if that could happen. “Certainly with a major co-sponsor departing, that puts the team in a state of flux. I'm confident they will work something out…it’s not the first time this happens.”

The issue for Bjarne Riis’ team is that it must find a replacement backer in order to be able to continue at its current budget level. Tinkov indicated that the sum involved was six million euro; if the team gets a second sponsor but for a sum less than this, it may mean that cutbacks need to be made.

There’s still time to finalise agreements but at this point in time, the team is in somewhat of a limbo in terms of being able to offer new contracts to any rider who is up for renewal.

“At the moment, I’m available,” said Duggan, when asked if he was open to other offers.

The thirty year old has a good racing programme ahead of him and should continue to improve in the remaining events of 2013. His body is gradually getting stronger and his condition building after a leg fracture sustained earlier this year.

He will begin the Tour de Pologne tomorrow, then will travel across the Atlantic for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, plus the GP Quebec and GP Montreal. After that he hopes to ride the world road race championships in Florence, Italy, and also the Tour of Beijing.

Duggan had a strong 2012 season but admits that things have been more difficult this year due to injury. On January 24th he crashed and fractured his femur, hitting the deck during stage three of the Santos Tour Down Under.

He returned to competition in the Presidential Tour of Turkey in April and was 77th there. He then went on to the Tour of California, where he was 91st, and his national championship title defence, where he was twentieth.

After withdrawing on stage eight of the Critérium du Dauphiné, Duggan completed both the Tour of Luxembourg and the Österreich-Rundfahrt, riding for his Saxo Tinkoff team. He finished in the top eighty of both of those events.

He admits that it’s taken a while to get back on track, but he’s hopeful that things will pick up soon. “It’s been a long slow frustrating road from breaking my leg six months ago, so I'm planning for it all to come around and get back on it for these end of season races,” he said.

“As much as I want to be back to one hundred percent now, the reality is that its really gonna take a year [from the date of the crash – ed.] for that to happen. It’s a lot quicker and easier to get to ninety percent.

“But I'm motivated and they are races that suit me and that I'm familiar with. I'm finally feeling some good sensations and seeing some more normal power numbers, so I'm confident I can have some good results here now and at the end of the year.”

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