Bjarne Riis made two big announcements today:
- Saxo Bank has agreed to stay on with Sungard as a sponsor with Specialized bikes remaining as bike sponsor.
- He also confirmed speculation that he has inked three-time Tour de France winner, Alberto Contador to a two-year contract.
Certainly this is a step up in team for Contador. Although his Astana team performed well above expectations in the Tour, there is no denying that Saxo Bank is a far superior team even with the loss of the Schleck brothers.
It remains to be seen if Fabian Cancellara will complete the final year of his contract. One would speculate that he will but as often is the case, riders frequently have other teams buy out the final year of their contract so they can join a new team. Will this be the case with Cancellara?
Frank and Andy Schleck still have not announced any details of their new team and if they have secured any title sponsor(s). It still won’t surprise me and I think it would be in their best interest if they join Johan Bruyneel and Team Radio Shack.
I know I stated this a few times during the Tour but given how young the two brothers are, I think they would greatly benefit riding for Bruyneel. He and Riis are the two preeminent director sportifs in the business and the Schleck’s don’t have the experience required to successfully operate a team on their own. Couple this with the fact that Radio Shack does not have a marquis name to ride for them next year and you have all the necessary ingredients for a successful marriage.
It will be interesting to see how it turns out…