Bjarne Riis hopes to present his new team sponsor soon. With Tinkoff Bank leaving Team Saxo-Tinkoff at the end of this season, the Dane needed to find a new sponsor in addition to Saxo Bank, and meanwhile the delay is affecting signings and contract extensions.
“We are working to get the last details in place, and hopefully we will soon announce something concrete soon,” he told bt.dk. Negotiations are “reasonably well along , but there are still some things that need to fall into place.”
The lack of final details and not knowing who will provide how much money means that Riis is lagging behind on signing riders for 2014. “You would like to see it a little differently sometimes , but that 's the way it is. It's not me who sits on this idea.”
Veteran Chris Anker Sorensen, who finished 32nd in the world championships road race, has been with Riis his entire pro career. He has a contract for the coming season, but like his teammates, faces the risk of the team folding if a co-sponsor is not found.
He does not believe that will happen, though. “Saxo Bank is still here , and so far I have heard there will also be a team in the next season. The question is how big is the budget.”
Riis has three more weeks to line thing up. The transfer window closes on October 20 and the team must put up a guarantee of financial coverage for the coming season.
The team has announced only one new signing, Michael Valgren Andersen, and confirmed only one rider leaving, Anders Lund, who is retiring. Only 15 current riders are confirmed for 2014, with the fates of 13 others hanging in the balance.