"Bruno brings in some capacities that are absolutely vital to the team. He is a skilled climber, which means he can be an asset for us in both the Ardennes Classics and in the mountains of a Grand Tour,” said team owner Bjarne Riis. “Bruno is also a humble guy and a true team player, so I look forward to have him on the team."
"I am very happy and honored by the confidence that Bjarne Riis and Saxo Bank-SunGard are showing in me,” Pires said. “It's an important next step in my career, and I believe that I am going to grow a great deal at Saxo Bank-SunGard, since I will be surrounded by some of the most professional and experienced people in cycling.
"I am extremely motivated, and my personal goal as I start a new stage in my career is to help the team and the people, who gave me this opportunity. I'm looking forward to the day we start working together.”
This was the first WorldTour year for the 30-year-old Pires, having previously ridden only for Continental-ranked Portuguese teams. His top result in 2011 was ninth place overall in the US Pro Cycling Challenge.