Tinkoff-Saxo close to signing Adam Blythe

Adam Blythe is likely to be Tinkoff-Saxo's biggest summer signing with the Russian team set for a season of consolidation rather than expansion. Last year the team owned by Oleg Tinkov pulled off the signing of year in Peter Sagan but having already re-signed Alberto Contador earlier this season they look set to follow through with series of renewals over the coming weeks.

The team have roughly 14 riders out of contract for 2016 with Christopher Juul Jensen the most notable departure.

"We've not signed anyone prominent but we should have a few finalised in the next week, one of which is Adam but there's nothing completed yet," general manager Stefano Feltrin told Cyclingnews.

Blythe signed a one-year deal with Orica GreenEdge for 2015 but has not been offered a new contract by the Australian team.

"We're renewing riders this week. We've just finished the Tour and we're reviewing riders with a really thorough analysis. We also tested twelve U23 riders, some of whom are now stagiaires with the team. That's three guys and we'll see if they can find a place with us for next year.

"We have 14 riders out of contract at the moment and potentially we'd like to keep them all. The only one who has come to us and said they wanted to do something different is Jensen."

One rider who has been linked to the team is Mark Cavendish, who is out of contract and apparently generating interest from any WorldTour team with a cheque book. Feltrin admitted that there had been a dialogue between the team and the rider's representatives but the likelihood of a move remains slim at present.

"We've shown some interest in Mark but to have him you'd need to have a team and system around him. We're interested but we need to see what's possible," Feltrin told Cyclingnews.

"We've not gone too much into it, and it's all been preliminary discussions. Of course Oleg Tinkov could afford him but with the team's current budget we'd have to restructure it and have other sponsorship. We need to find other ways of revenues because of the current system within cycling. Each year the budgets grow but how long can that last?

"We're negotiating with many riders. We have around 15 on the short list. There are a lot of Movistar riders leaving, there are some Team Sky riders out of contract. We're happy with our riders so maybe we won't sign that many new ones."

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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.