Two more extend with Tinkoff Saxo as Paulinho and Pires ink new deals
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Two more extend with Tinkoff Saxo as Paulinho and Pires ink new deals

by VeloNation Press at 7:34 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Portuguese duo sign up for more seasons alongside Alberto Contador

Tinkoff SaxoThe fifth and sixth contract extensions this week for Tinkoff Saxo have been announced, with the team confirming today that multi-year deals have been signed by two of its riders.

The Portuguese riders Sergio Paulinho and Bruno Pires have inked contracts to stay on board for a further three and two years respectively, with the agreements made possible by the recent sale of the team to the Russian businessman Oleg Tinkoff and the resulting financial stability gained.

Paulinho’s first standout result came in 2004 when he finished an unexpected second to Paolo Bettini in the Olympic road race. Since then he has ridden for the Liberty Seguros, Discovery Channel, Astana and RadioShack teams before moving to Saxo Bank in 2012, and has taken stage wins in the Vuelta a España and Tour de France.

Now 32 years of age, he’s pleased to have the peace of mind caused by a three year contract extension. He was second overall in the Glava Tour of Norway this year and wants to achieve more personally in the future, as well as backing team leaders such as Alberto Contador.

“Signing a new deal with the team means a lot to me. I'm very comfortable here, I'm still developing and I'm starting to feel like I'm a part of a family, so I'm happy to stay,” he sais.

“In the 2014 season, I'm hoping to be able to win more races with the team. The main goal is again to be a part of the Tour de France line-up.”

His compatriot Pires has also been with the team since 2012 and will now remain part of the setup until at least the end of 2015. He clocked up fourth overall in this year’s Tour of Slovenia and while he wasn’t happy with his overall season, knows that he will have another chance in 2014.

“I'm very happy to have the opportunity to continue working with the incredible people at Tinkoff-Saxo and I'm having high hopes for the new season,” Pires stated.

“It has been a very difficult year for me without the success I had hoped for. My ambition next year is to keep supporting my team, proving that the team did the right thing choosing to extend the contract.”

Former team owner Bjarne Riis is now the general manager. He said that both riders are valued and that by reengaging them and others, it gives the core of the team a stability going forward.

“We know the two Portuguese, Sergio and Bruno, as reliable riders, who fit great into our team and philosophy. Sergio is a very strong and experienced worker, and he is a key person for Alberto in the stage races, but he still also has the capability of making results for himself,” he said.

“Bruno is another solid helper who can be used in many races. Even though he is coming through a tough year, he is always willing to sacrifice himself for his teammates.”

On Monday the team announced that Swiss rider Oliver Zaugg and the Italian Matteo Tosatto would remain with the squad. Yesterday two more extensions were confirmed, with the Danish rider Nicki Sørensen and the Dutchman Karsten Kroon deciding to stay on board.


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