Sorensen worried about Saxo Bank’s lack of results
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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sorensen worried about Saxo Bank’s lack of results

by Conal Andrews at 9:41 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Former Danish pro and current TV commentator Rolf Sorensen has expressed concern about the lack of results racked up by Team Saxo Bank this year. The squad has faced financial difficulties due to the collapse of IT Factory, which was supposed to come on board last year as a co-sponsor, and is also under pressure as Saxo Bank has indicated that it wants to end its association at the close of 2010, one year early.

Getting results is clearly part of what it will take to chase new backers but the team has been very quiet thus far. After two months of racing, it has picked up just three wins; Fabian Cancellara won the Tour of Oman, Juan Jose Haedo took the Mumbai Cyclothon in India, and Alex Rasmussen triumphed in the time trial at the Vuelta a Andalucia.

Thus far, the team is only ninth in the world rankings. It’s a very respectable performance, but a far cry from the days when it would dominate the standings.

“It is a bit worrying for the coming years, as we all know that they have to give priority [to getting results now],” Sorensen told the news agency Ritzau. “For me, the management must have a serious talk with the riders to find out if anything has gone wrong in their preparation.”

Directeur sportif Kim Andersen played this down, saying that the big targets lie ahead. “It would be wrong to say that we have used Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico as training races,” he told Ritzau. “We had high hopes for a little more in Paris-Nice. But there is still three, four, five weeks to the first major goal for us.”

General manager Bjarne Riis accepts that more must be done, but is also confident that good results are on the way. “We have riders preparing themselves for now, and from now it becomes serious,” he told TV2Sport. “They are all well aware. Now we must show what we can do.

“There is no doubt that Fabian has prepared himself well and he is highly motivated to make a super performance.”

Cancellara will line out as one of the former winners in this year’s Milan-Sanremo, and has said that he would love to take the race again. He won’t win a bunch sprint, so knows that he has to try something along similar lines to 2008, when he jumped clear of a breakaway group to triumph.

The big Swiss rider expressed confidence that his form was coming, saying that he was feeling stronger towards the end of Tirreno-Adriatico. He is already ahead of his schedule from last year, when he struggled early on but then came strong a little later in the year.


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