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Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) returned as defending champion.
Still no announcement on new sponsor for Bjarne Riis' team
Alberto Contador has had to accept a pay cut of 10-15 per cent, according to a report in the Danish media. The Spaniard is said to have accepted the reduced salary, in light of the team's financial problems, with Team Saxo-Tinkoff owner Bjarne Riis still to announce a new sponsor for the coming season.
BT.dk reported that Riis recently met with the Spanish rider and told him that the pay cut was necessary if the team is to survive next season. Although Contador still has two years to go on his contract, the website said that he understood the problem and accepted the pay cut.
Contador is said to earn about 25 million Kroner annually, or roughly 3.3 million Euro. A 15 per cent cut would bring him down to 21.25 million Kroner or 2.8 million. However he apparently also has an agreement with bike producer Specialized which brings him 15 million Kroner (2 million Euro) annually.
His spokesman Jacinto Vidarte told the Danish site that Contador was in constant contact with Riis who assured him the team would continue next season. He would not comment on the pay cut.
“I don't have any information about that , and it is not important at this time. Right now it is important that the team will continue and that Contador continues on the team. That's all we have to say.”
Tinkoff Bank was co-sponsor for the team but after the Tour de France it was announced that the relationship would end. Saxo Bank will stay on as sponsor but is not expected to make up the moneys previously provided by the co-sponsor.
Riis had said that he was negotiating with a potential new sponsor and BT.dk says that there are actually two (unnamed) parties currently in discussion.
Time is starting to get tight for Riis. He must send the team's dossier for the 2014 season to the UCI by October 20, which must include not only the bank guarantee but the names of all riders for the coming season. As a WorldTour team he must have a minimum of 23 riders on his roster, and he currently has only 16 riders under contract for the coming year.