Riis angry at UCI, grateful to fans for support

“Felt like a passenger on the Titanic,” Saxo Bank team principal says

The last few months have been very hard for Bjarne Riis, first losing his top star Alberto Contador to a doping suspension and then facing the potential loss of Team Saxo Bank's WorldTour status. He has been let down by the UCI, he said.

“It was hard enough having to deal with the scenario, but what was terrible for me was that I could do nothing about it. I have felt like a passenger on the Titanic ship, waiting on whether we struck the iceberg,” he wrote in a column in the Ekstra Bladet newspaper.

"I've been missing support from UCI, and I had hoped for a helping hand from them in a difficult situation. We have, after all, shown over many years that we are a healthy and financially well-run organization, that we have been able to provide some fantastic sponsors to the sport and I also believe that we have contributed a lot of good initiatives.”

The licensing board “luckily didn't follow the UCI's attitude,” he wrote. “We are back in a situation where we can act. Now we can look ahead, and the journey back towards the top actually began with the Giro start in Herning.”

The fan support in Denmark during the Giro's three stages there meant a lot to him. “Both riders and I have received such great support and encouragement along the Danish roads in recent days that we are still completely overwhelmed. Thanks for that. I know that it means everything to us.”

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