Australian veteran happy with “best team in the world”
Luke Roberts will continue to ride for Saxo Bank-SunGard in 2012, the team announced Friday. The Australian rode for the Danish team from 2005 and 2007 before re-joining it last year.
“Luke has been solid throughout the season and yet again shown he is both a strong and versatile rider that the team can rely on in all kinds of races. At the same time he brings important experience and great spirit, so I'm pleased he has agreed to stay with us for another season,” team owner Bjarne Riis said.
“I'm extremely grateful and happy to be able to continue to work with Bjarne Riis and his staff,” said Roberts. “In my opinion this is probably the best team in the world, when it comes to organization and helping riders to achieve their maximum in their career.”
Looking to his eleventh pro year, he said, “My first goal of the season will be the Tour Down Under. I finished inside the top ten in the GC the last two years without really ideal preparation. So now to be able to prepare and focus on that race, and the fact that it has a mountain top finish that could take some of the sprinters out of the GC, is my chance of a top result. For sure I will be looking at getting a score on the board there. Then I would be keen on riding a Grand Tour again."
Roberts, 34, turned pro with Team ComNet-Senges in 2002 and rode with them until joining CSC as it was then called. In 2008 and 2009 he returned to Team Kuota-Senges for two years, and rode for Milram in 2010. He had signed with the Pegasus project, and joined Saxo Bank when that project folded.
On the road, he has won stages in smaller stage races such as the Tour Down Under and the Tour of Murcia. This year he finished tenth overall n the Tour Down Under and won the mountains jersey.
His major successes have been on the track, having won the team pursuit worlds title three times, as well as the gold medal in that discipline at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.