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Schleck brothers plotting to leave Team Saxo Bank since January say Danish reports

Pair set to join new Luxembourg outfit being set up by ex-CSC/Saxo Bank staff

The Tour de France marks the point in the cycling calendar when thoughts inevitably turn to who’s riding where next year, and this time around, the gossip has got going earlier than usual, with rumours that Team Saxo Bank’s Schleck brothers may be racing for a new Luxembourg-based team next season.

The Danish newspaper Politiken has reported that according to television channel TV2, Fränk Schleck has known about the new team since January, and believes that his younger brother Andy, who finished second behind Alberto Contador on the Champs-Elysees podium last year, has been aware of the plans for a similar time.
It added that Riis now intends to speak to Fränk Schleck to clarify the situation, although the team owner has conceded that it is difficult to imagine a Luxembourg-based team without the Schleck brothers, whose contracts with the Danish outfit expire this year.

The new team is being set up by Brian Nygaard, who spent six years as press officer to Bjarne Riis’s CSC/Saxo Bank outfit before moving to a similar role at Team Sky, and he will be joined by another Team Saxo Bank employee, Kim Anderson, in the role of sporting director.

News that Anderson was no longer working with Team Saxo Bank broke at the weekend, apparently after Riis discovered his sporting director was involved in helping put together Nygaard’s new outfit, although both parties deny that Anderson was sacked, instead saying that they had simply agreed to cease working together.

Anderson’s departure just days before the Tour de France adds to what has been a problematic season for Riis, who has yet to confirm a new headline sponsor for next year following the decision of Saxo Bank to terminate its sponsorship a year early at the close of the season, although it is believed that software services and IT brand SunGard, brought on board in January, will assume title sponsorship of the team.

Meanwhile, last weekend Fränk Schleck won back the Luxembourg Road Race Champion’s jersey his brother took off him 12 months ago, although having won the Time Trial Championship, it will be Andy who will be sporting the red, white and blue colours in Saturday’s Prologue in Rotterdam.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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handlebarcam | 14 years ago

Pity. Sponsorship by a manufacturer of skin protection products would make sense for a cycling team. They could slather the riders with free samples, SPF 999, then do adverts showing their lack of a tan line under their shorts. I've never quite understood the logic behind sponsorship of sports by B2B firms - the kind that only ever deal in huge contracts from other firms. Is anyone really going to stop before placing a multi-million pound order for some new software and think to themselves, "I'll give the contract to that company whose logo is printed on the jerseys of my favourite cycling team, or stickered on the rear wing sideboards of my favourite F1 team's cars." Then again, maybe they'll be able to run some kind of marketing campaign boasting 60% efficiency savings by customers who use their software.

Simon_MacMichael | 14 years ago

Yup, hands in air, my mistake, thanks for flagging it up, Malcolm, corrected it in the article... worst thing is I did actually know that, think my brain (or typing fingers) blew a fuse with this mini-heatwave we're having. I'm now as red in the face as someone who's been out in the sun without any form of protection - whether branded Ambre Solaire, Nivea or, er, SunGard...

workhard | 14 years ago

SunGuard on the other hand is an American brand of "wash in UV protector" amongst other uses of the brand/product name.

MalcolmBinns | 14 years ago

SunGard is one of the world’s leading software and technology services companies. SunGard has more than 20,000 employees and serves 25,000 customers in 70 countries. SunGard provides software and processing solutions for financial services, higher education and the public sector. SunGard also provides disaster recovery services, managed IT services, information availability consulting services and business continuity management software. With annual revenue exceeding $5 billion, SunGard is ranked 380 on the Fortune 500 and is the largest privately held business software and IT services company.

Nothing to do with sun care....

Maybe Simon should have done some research?

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