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Christina Watches planning merger, move up to ProConti level for 2014

By:
Cycling News
Published:
September 12, 2013, 17:45 BST,
Updated:
September 12, 2013, 18:45 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Friday, September 13, 2013
A Christina Watches - Onfone rider in action during the time trial.

A Christina Watches - Onfone rider in action during the time trial.

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Team to leave its Danish roots, but include up to seven Danish riders

Team Christina Watches is planning to merge with another team and become Professional Continental in the coming year, with the hope of riding the Giro d'Italia in 2014. The team with which it will work has not been named, but is a non-Danish Continental team, according to the Danish media. The new team is expected to continue with the Christina Watches name, but no longer with a Danish licence.

“I can confirm that we have been in negotiations with another team that is financially sound . We have given a legally binding commitment and lack only a confirmation from their attorney,” said team CEO Claus Hembo .

The new team would include seven Danish riders. “We have always had hot dreams of being promoted up a class and creating a big cycling team with Danish riders in the squad . This gives us the opportunity to do so. Danish cycling has long sighed for a team at the Pro Continental level, and if we get through with this, participating in the Giro d' Italia may be an option,” Hembo told BT.dk

The team currently has only one Danish rider under contract for next year, Jimmi  Sørensen, but it has its eye on the other Danish team. “If the plan works, we will contribute with Stefan Schumacher and seven Danish riders to the squad , which according to the rules must be at least 16 in total.

“Currently we only contract with Jimmi Sørensen, so we have to go out and get some new Danish riders- It could easily be one or more names that do not extend their contracts with Bjarne Riis and Team Saxo - Tinkoff for next year,” Hembo said.

One of those Danish riders is Mads Christensen, whose contract with Saxo-Tinkoff expires the end of this year. “It is the first time I hear about it from you right now. So it's hard to say whether I might be interested since I do not know the circumstances,” he told tv2.dk. “But conversely, I have not heard anything from my current employer about a contract extension.”

He said, “It is perhaps also a little about the uncertain sponsorship situation with Saxo-Tinkoff.”

While Christensen would like to stay with Saxo-Tinkoff, he said, “I want to ride next year too - and for many years to come.” But the 29-year-old has been around long enough to know that “it is about looking at the possibilities that offer themselves,” and is not yet willing to exclude any possibilities.”

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