Both feltet.dk and TV2 have reported that the 32-year-old Australian is on the verge of joining Bjarne Riis’ team as a key mountain domestique for Alberto Contador, a role he carried out for Team Sky and Bradley Wiggins during his victorious Tour de France this season.
Cyclingnews understands that Rogers has a contract with Sky until the end of 2013 but an arrangement is being sought to release him from the deal.
Team Sky press officer Dario Cioni told Cyclingnews on Sunday that the story was “all unofficial,” adding: “anything official will be posted on the team website.”
Saxo-Tinkoff press officer Anders Damsgard had already refused to confirm or deny the transfer when asked by sporten.tv2.dk, saying,“We do not want to comment on speculation.” Saxo-Tinkoff is still waiting to learn if it has secured a WorldTour berth for 2013.
Triple world time trial champion Rogers joined Team Sky from Highroad in 2011 and enjoyed a hugely successful second campaign with the squad. As well as his part in Wiggins’ Tour victory, Rogers took overall victory at the Bayern Rundfahrt and second place at the Critérium du Dauphiné, and ended the season 17th in the WorldTour rankings.
In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald in October, Rogers discussed his past collaboration with Dr. Michele Ferrari, which he ended in 2006 at the behest of his then T-Mobile team. He insisted that he had consulted Ferrari only for training programmes, but acknowledged that it had been a mistake to do so.
The following week, Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford unveiled his team’s new anti-doping policy, which requires all riders and staff to sign a declaration that they had never been involved in doping in order to remain at the team in 2013.
Directeurs sportifs Bobby Julich and Steve De Jongh have both since left the team after confessing to doping during their riding careers, while Sean Yates has retired, citing health reasons. As yet, no riders have departed due to the new policy.