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Liquigas and Saxo Bank to merge in 2013?

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Liquigas-Cannondale are presented at the start of stage 15

Liquigas-Cannondale are presented at the start of stage 15 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Saxo Bank team, led by Alberto Contador

The Saxo Bank team, led by Alberto Contador (Image credit: Luis Barbosa)
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Ivan Basso (Liquigas - Cannondale) finished 5th overall

Ivan Basso (Liquigas - Cannondale) finished 5th overall (Image credit: Sirotti)

The next “super team” may come together through the fusion of Liquigas-Cannondale and Team Saxo Bank next year, according to an Italian newspaper report. The Gazzetta dello Sport claims that the two teams are working towards that goal. The Italian team is losing its sponsor at the end of the year, but has the UCI points that Saxo Bank desperately need to retain its WorldTour licence.

Vincenzo Nibali is apparently leaving Liquigas after this season, but the team will still feature Ivan Basso, Peter Sagan, Elia Viviani, Moreno Moser and Damiano Caruso. The Gazzetta reported that Nibali will move to Astana, with Sylvester Szmyd and Daniel Oss going to BMC Racing Team. Roman Kreuziger is said to be returning to the team, and Gianluca Brambilla (Colnago-CSF Inox) and Alessandro De Marchi (Androni Giacattoli-Venezuela) will allegedly move to it as well.

Saxo Bank boss Bjarne Riis would provide Alberto Contador, who will not be able to provide the team with any UCI points for the next two years. The Spaniard is currently serving a doping-related suspension which ends in early August, and is expected to re-sign with the Danish team.

Basso and Contador have ridden together before, as both were with Discovery Channel in 2007, but only for a few months. Basso resigned from the team before serving a doping-related suspension. The two riders are said to have a good relationship.