Andre Steensen, Brian Vandborg and Volodymir Gustov are the latest riders to leave Saxo Bank-Sungard, after not being offered new contracts. Team manager Bjarne Riis has publicly said that he is having budget problems and does not plan to hire any additional riders, although Alberto Contador has asked for more help in the mountains. However, he may be looking to use the money saved from those three riders to make one or more new hires.
"I unfortunately have not renewed my contract with Saxo Bank. Bjarne called me and told me that he wanted to try some new riders," Steensen told Ekstrabladet.dk.
The Dane was not happy with the decision, but accepted it, saying he was not bitter. “Life does not end because I am not riding with Saxo Bank.”
He hoped to sign on for next year with the Continental-ranked Glud & Marstrand team, for which he rode before joining CSC-Saxo Bank during the 2008 season.
Feltet.dk also reported that Vandborg and Gustov would be leaving Saxo Bank. Vandborg, 30, rode for the team from 2004 to 2006 before putting in one year each at Discovery Channel and Team GLS-Pakke Shop. He then was with Liquigas in 2009 and 2010.
Gustov, 34, was also an earlier CSC alumnus. He rode for Fassa Bartolo from 2000 to 2005, CSC from 2006 to 2008, and Cervelo in 2009 and 2010 before re-joining the Danish team this year.