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Daniel Navarro and Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank)
Trusted domestiques to remain alonside Contador in 2013
Benjamin Noval and Jesus Hernandez, two of Alberto Contador’s most reliable domestiques, have signed contract extensions with Saxo Bank-Tinkoff. Noval has signed a one-year deal with Riis’ team while the 30-year-old Hernandez has committed to riding for Saxo Bank for the next three seasons. Noval has ridden in the same team as Contador since 2007 with Hernandez from 2008.
"Jesus and Benjamin have been very important in our win in the Vuelta, because of their dedication and loyalty towards Alberto and the team. Benjamin is the experienced and hardworking guy, who protects Alberto in the peloton, and Jesus is not only an asset on the climbs, but also a training companion of Alberto. At the same time both of them are great personalities to work with, so it was natural to renew their contracts," said Riis.
Contador is close friends with his Spaniard teammates Hernandez and Noval who most recently supported him at the Vuelta a España. Contador insisted the duo make the move to Saxo Bank at the end of 2010 when, along with Daniel Navarro, they signed for Riis. Navarro has since signed a two-year deal with Cofidis but the signing of the remaining two speaks loudly for Contador’s commitment to Riis for the coming years.
"For me Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank is in many ways one of the best teams in the world. Secondly, Alberto is part of this team. These are the two main drivers behind my decision to stay. I feel part of a family here, I like the atmosphere, and I like the way the team and Bjarne work with the riders," said Noval.
Noval has played a significant role at the Tour de France throughout his career. The 33-year-old was part of Lance Armstong’s team during the 2004 and 2005 editions while also riding alongside Contador during the 2007 and 2010 Tours de France.
"It was an easy decision to renew my contract. I very much like to be part of Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank, I have some great teammates here, and I'm happy to continue supporting Alberto in the races as he is a close friend of mine. I'm really looking forward to next season and hope for some big results for the team," said Hernandez.