Sorensen and Kroon sign contract extensions with Team Tinkoff Saxo
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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sorensen and Kroon sign contract extensions with Team Tinkoff Saxo

by VeloNation Press at 9:00 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Veteran riders remaining on board for at least one more year

Karsten KroonTeam Tinkoff Saxo has made further announcements in relation to its lineup of riders for 2014, following on from yesterday’s news that Oliver Zaugg and Matteo Tosatto would remain with the squad. The team has now confirmed that the Danish rider Nicki Sørensen and the Dutchman Karsten Kroon have signed new one year deals and will consequently be part of the setup in 2014.

“The value of riders like Nicki and Karsten can hardly be underestimated as they add a great amount of stability to the team and at the same time they are simply great guys to be around,” said general manager Bjarne Riis, announcing the news.

Sørensen is now 38 years of age. The former Tour de France stage winner about to begin what will be a staggering fourteenth season with the same squad.

He says that he remains hungry for personal success, but is also motivated to work for others when required.

“I still have a great passion for the sport, and I couldn't imagine being anywhere else than on this team, so I'm happy to extend my contract for another year, my 14th season with the team. Naturally, I'm targeting results on my own in 2014, but I'm more than happy to be a supporting rider as well as sharing my experience with the young riders,” Nicki Sørensen says.

Kroon is also nearing the end of his career. The rider, who is another former Tour de France stage winner, is 37 years of age and will soon start his seventh season with the team. He said that he was pleased to remain on board and that he feels he still has a lot to give.

“I know that I'm not as strong as when I was thirty, but I feel I can provide a lot of experience to the young riders,” he stated. “Basically, I love riding my bike and as long as my passion is intact and I've got something to offer, I want to be in the peloton.

“There are still good riders out there without a contract for next year, so obviously I feel very fortunate to continue to be part of one the best teams out there.”

The squad has been taken over by Oleg Tinkov, who bought Riis out and who will provide the bulk of the budget for the next few years. That sale has given the team a greater financial stability and enabled the completion of the roster.

Alberto Contador will continue to be the team’s top rider, with Nicolas Roche, Roman Kreuziger and Michael Rogers amongst the others who will also have chances to win.

Riis knows that Sørensen and Kroon will also have their own worth.

“Nicki might be a veteran by now, but he is still very strong and motivated,” he said, explaining the decision to extend the deals. “He takes a lot of responsibility in races and training and is one of the riders, who act as an extended arm of the sport management, and with his experience he can race every single race in the calendar.

“A lot of the same qualities goes with Karsten. He is a key person in our Classic campaign using his skills and routine to guide his teammates in the peloton. He knows these races better than most riders, and this definitely had a great impact on Roman's win in Amstel Gold Race this year.”

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