Zaugg and Tosatto sign two year contract extensions with Tinkoff-Saxo
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Monday, December 16, 2013

Zaugg and Tosatto sign two year contract extensions with Tinkoff-Saxo

by VeloNation Press at 7:40 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Riis: “These two guys have both proved their importance to the team, especially in the Grand Tours”

Oliver ZauggHaving a more secure budget now after Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov took over ownership of the squad, Team Tinkoff Saxo has announced the retention of two of the riders from the 2013 roster.

Former Il Lombardia winner Oliver Zaugg and the experienced Italian Matteo Tosatto have both inked two year extensions, thus securing their futures until the end of 2015.

Zaugg took his Il Lombardia triumph in 2011 and while he has not reached the same level of success since then, the team’s general manager Bjarne Riis still believes he can take big results.

“Oliver had a tough season because of some crashes, but he came back strong in the last part of the season and did well,” he said. “He is an interesting rider, who can climb, and a guy I very much wanted to stay in the team.”

Now 32 years of age, Zaugg knows that he needs to seize the chances he gets while he is still a relatively young rider.

“Naturally, I'm happy about getting another season with one of the top teams in the world. I had my ups and downs in the 2013 season,” he said. “I hope for a 2014 season with fewer crashes, so I'll be able to support the team captains. Of course, I'm also ready to create a result of my own when the right opportunity occurs.”

Tosatto is 39 years of age but the former Tour de France stage winner took a solid seventh in the 2012 Paris-Roubaix and continues to perform at a good level.

Riis sees him as playing an important role in the next two seasons. “Matteo showed during this year's Tour de France how strong he still is. He can ride pretty much all races and has a great sense of how a race is developing,” he said. “And last but not least he can be both a support for a GC captain, but also help bring a sprinter in position in the final kilometres of a race.”

Unsurprisingly, Tosatto expresses satisfaction to remain in the bunch and say’s he’s still got the enthusiasm he needs. “I'm as motivated as if it were my very first contract. I'm continuing my role as the experienced rider on the team as well as targeting my own result during the Classics before preparing for the Grand Tours,” he said. “In any case, I'd love to win a race.”

The team will continue to be led by Alberto Contador, with others such as Roman Kreuziger, Nicolas Roche and Michael Rogers being protected riders in certain events. Riis sees the latest two signings as plusses for the overall strength of the squad.

“These two guys have both proved their importance to the team, especially in the Grand Tours, so I'm delighted to be able to keep them with us,” he states.

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