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Breschel: I want Riis to stay with the team

Matti Breschel has told Cyclingnews that he would like Bjarne Riis to remain as part of Tinkoff-Saxo but that he and his teammates are focusing on racing, and racing alone, as their general manager remains on the sidelines.

Riis was suspended by team owner Oleg Tinkov at the start of the week with speculation rife that a replacement could be lined up to take over from the Dane. However no confirmation has been released with regards to Riis’ future, while the team carry on racing its spring Classics campaign and the Volta a Catalunya in Spain.

“All of us riders and staff know that this shouldn’t affect us. It’s out of our hands so we’ll just concentrate on the racing because that’s what it’s all about,” Breschel told Cyclingnews at the start of Dwars Door Vlanderen on Wednesday.

Breschel has a close relationship with Riis, having signed for the manager as a neo-pro in 2005, and despite a two-year period at Rabobank, he has been ever-present in Riis’s teams since.

“As a rider myself I try not to talk about it publicly as little as possible because I need to concentrate on racing, and like it said it’s a matter not in my hands. I would like a resolution where Bjarne is still part of the team but if that’s not the case then I’m guessing they’ll find a replacement.”

The relationship between Riis and Tinkov, as reported by a number of news sources including Cyclingnews, has deteriorated this season but Breschel added that both owner and manager were committed to the success of the team.

“I don’t know if there were problems, I don’t know but Bjarne and Oleg have always been dedicated the making sure the team is the best as possible. “

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Daniel Benson
Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.