Young Dane eager to continue work with Kim Andersen
Jakob Fuglsang has said that he had opted to join the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project even before the Tour de France, and that Team Saxo Bank owner Bjarne Riis was aware of his decision. Fuglsang explained that he was eager to continue working with sports director Kim Andersen and wanted the security of a new contract, while Riis had not yet announced a sponsor for the coming year.
"Bjarne Riis knew about my decision even before the Tour,” Fuglsang told spn.dk. “He had sensed that something was afoot. He offered me an extension a week before the Tour, but in contrast to Team Luxembourg, he could not promise anything specific in writing or wage, as there was still uncertainty about a future sponsorship."
Riis has said that he felt hard done by to learn that so many riders were leaving him, and that they rode the Tour knowing this. Fuglsang denied that there was any problem in that respect.
"No, Team Saxo Bank's future was uncertain, and it was no problem for my performance during the Tour knowing that I would ride for another team. Quite the contrary. It was just nice to have control of my future, unlike some of the other riders who rode in uncertainty about where they should continue. "
Saxo Bank had announced it would end its sponsorship at the end of the season, and did not renew its sponsorship until the signing of Alberto Contador was announced the beginning of August.
Kim Andersen played a major role in the 25-year-old's decision to join the newly formed team. “He is my good friend, and he has always taken good care of me. He has meant a lot to my development, is always positive and says straight out if there is something he is not happy with. In the cycling environment, he is, if not the best, then at least one of the best sports directors.”
He added, “Kim Anderson doesn't just aim for results here and now. He's thinking more long term and his primary goal is that we continue to develop."
Had Fuglsang stayed with Saxo Bank, he thought that Riis might offer him the role of leader, “but that possibility disappeared anyway, since he signed Alberto Contador. The Luxembourg team will of course primarily depend on the Schleck brothers, but I'm fine with that. I'm not on their level and I can learn a lot from them," said Fuglsang.
He will still have his own opportunities as well, if not at the Tour de France, then elsewhere. “There are other big stage races where I can get permission to ride for myself.”
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