Stuart O'Grady has confirmed that he is leaving Team Saxo Bank after this season, but did not yet announce the name of his new team.
It had long been rumoured that the Australian would leave the Danish team, particularly after team boss Bjarne Riis removed him from the Vuelta a Espana after breaking the team's policy on alcohol during stage races. At the time, O'Grady said, “It also means I've ridden my last race for Saxo Bank. This is not the way I would have wanted my career racing for Bjarne Riis to end. I've ridden my guts out on the front for the team for the last six seasons.”
The 37-year-old did not disclose where he will ride in 2011. “The contract's pretty much signed and completed but it's just up to that (new) team whether or not they release it or not,” O'Grady told the French news agency AFP.
“At the end of the day the team chose me as much as I chose the team... I'm really looking forward to the next year, (I'm) getting on in age so it's a bit of a fresh change, new challenges and a new set-up which is always pretty exciting," he said.
O'Grady is expected to join Saxo Bank teammates Andy and Fränk Schleck, Jakob Fuglsang and Jens Voigt at the new Luxembourg-based team.
The Australian joined Team CSC, as it was then known, in 2005. He won Paris-Roubaix in 200p7.
He turned pro in 1995 with GAN and rode for Cofidis from 204 to 2005 before joining the Danish team. He has won three stages of the Tour de France and wore the yellow jersey for three days in 1998. O'Grady also won a gold medal in scratch at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.