Bjarne Riis is losing a number of key riders at the end of season and has already lost a directeur sportif, but the Dane is not worried about all the changes. Indeed, the Saxo Bank boss says that his phone is ringing off the hook with people eager to work for him.
Andy and Fränk Schleck are leading the exodus from the team, joining directeur sportif Kim Andersen at the new Luxembourg team managed by former press officer Brian Nygaard. Torsten Schmidt is also said to be joining that team as a directuer sportif, along with promising Danish stage racer Jakob Fuglsang. Matti Breschel has already signed with Rabobank. Veterans such as Stuart O'Grady and Jens Voigt have also been linked to the new Luxembourg team.
Riis still will have two super star riders to lead Saxo Bank-SunGard in 2011. Fabian Cancellara is under contract with Riis for 2011and new signing Alberto Contador has signed a two-year contract. Contador will also bring domestiques Benjamin Noval, Daniel Navarro and Jesus Hernandez on board.
Riis told Sporten.dk that more riders and staff will be named soon. “Things are under control. We are working on it at present and in the near future we will begin to put some more names out there,” he said.
Riis called the massive changes a natural occurrence and said that the team had employees both coming and going. “I am receiving many calls” from people who want to join the team, he said.