Road

Saxo Bank will be team’s lone sponsor next season

Saxo Bank will be lone sponsor of Bjarne Riis's team next year after the Danish investment house exercised an option to take over as the lead sponsor.

2011 Tour de France stage 19
Photo: Graham Watson | grahamwatson.com

Saxo Bank stepped up in 2008 to salvage the team after CSC ended its long-running sponsorship at the end of 2007.

SunGard, which stepped in as a co-sponsor the past two seasons, will discontinue its association with the team at the end of this year, team officials said Wednesday.

George Thomas, SunGard’s vice president of communications, said the deal was strictly a business decision.

“The decision to end our sponsorship was a business decision and not related to the team,” Thomas said. “We know we are leaving them with a great sponsor in Saxo Bank and we wish them much continued success.”

Team officials said the news does not impact the team’s budget for 2012.

Saxo Bank will be hoping that Alberto Contador is cleared in his long-running clenbuterol case later this month.

For 2012, sees the arrival of nine riders and the departure of seven, including Olympic time trial silver medalist Gustav Larsson and Richie Porte.

There were no block-buster signings for next season, with Contador pal Sergio Paulinho as the only real Tour-caliber rider set to come on board for next year. Anders Lund and Karsten Kroon, two former CSC riders, are back with Riis and will be focusing on the classics.