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Former Paris-Roubaix winner Stuart O’Grady has confirmed his departure from Danish cycling team Saxo Bank.
O’Grady, who is part of the Australian national team gunning for gold in the men’s elite event at the world road race championships on Sunday, said he has signed for a new, as-yet-unnamed team.
“The contract’s pretty much signed and completed but it’s just up to that team whether or not they release it or not,” said O’Grady.
“At the end of the day the team chose me as much as I chose the team … I’m really looking forward to the next year. (I’m) getting on in age so it’s a bit of a fresh change, new challenges and a new setup, which is always pretty exciting.”
O’Grady spent an eventful few years with Saxo Bank, winning the prestigious Paris-Roubaix in 2007 and playing a role in his team’s 2008 Tour de France victory with Spaniard Carlos Sastre.
The 37-year-old O’Grady is a former Olympic champion in the Madison (2004) who began his road-racing career in Europe with the GAN team, which merged with Credit Agricole and which he left in 2003.
After one year racing for Cofidis in 2004-05 he joined CSC, which later became Saxo Bank, in 2006.
O’Grady is the latest rider to jump ship from the Danish outfit, which is managed by former Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis.
Brothers Andy and Frank Schleck have quit to set up a new Luxembourg-backed team, which Dane Jakob Fuglsang and German Jens Voigt are set to join.
Olympic time trial champion Fabian Cancellara, who won his fourth world title in the event here on Thursday, is also leaving Saxo Bank while Dane Matti Breschel has signed with Rabobank for next year.