Sponsor talks for Riis’ Saxo Bank team
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sponsor talks for Riis’ Saxo Bank team

by VeloNation Press at 6:42 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Bjarne Riis’ ongoing search for a new backer for his cycling team, currently sponsored by Saxo Bank, may have a promising lead. According to the team director Trey Greenwood, it is in talks with a company which may be interested in coming on board.

These talks replace ones with another company that didn’t come to fruition. "The Danish firm that we talked with [before] has withdrawn, but has been replaced by another good Danish company,” he told TV 2 Sport. “We are very optimistic about everything.”

Saxo Bank had originally been due to continue until the end of 2011 but exercised a get out clause to leave a year early. Riis has had to make cutbacks and let several riders go at the end of last season, but has retained some of the biggest names in cycling, including the Schleck brothers Andy and Frank, plus multiple world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara.

In February Greenwood had commented about the talks with that first company, saying that those representing the team had been working hard. He reassured the riders that they could concentrate on their own jobs and trust that the team was doing its utmost.

“It [the first Danish company] has shown interest from several years, but the time and circumstances were never right,” he told DR Sport. “There have also been enquiries from abroad. But there is nothing concrete on the negotiating table. It is important that the riders are confident that we are doing a good job to get a sponsor, so they can just concentrate on riding a bicycle. And I am sure that they are.”

In recent days it emerged that the team did not finalise a new three year deal with Jakob Fuglsang, despite a press release stating that it had. Furthermore, the Schleck brothers and Cancellara have been rumoured to be considering moving to a new team, to be backed by an un-named Luxembourg company and managed by former Astana director Marc Biver.

Riis said he received guarantees from the riders that this is not the case, but he would clearly be in a much stronger position once a new backer is confirmed for 2011 and beyond.

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