The Tinkoff-Saxo team has said that, starting Thursday, it plans to begin naming riders who will be given contract extensions for 2016. Before then, it has confirmed the 14 names that already have deals running into next season, with the two top guns remaining in place.
One of those confirmed as continuing is the Italian Ivan Basso, who was forced to withdraw from the Tour de France due to the diagnosis of testicular cancer. He since had a testicle removed but was told no further treatment was necessary, although he will undergo regular check-ups to ensure no further problems crop up.
Basso’s fans will be relieved that he will remain part of the team in 2016, with his confirmation assuaging any fears that he might decide to retire early. He’s now 37 years of age but plans to continue racing.
Also staying on board are the team’s two top names.
“Alberto Contador will be our team leader and will focus on the Tour de France in 2016 while Peter Sagan will be the man that will captain Tinkoff-Saxo in the Classics, among other races,” states Steven de Jongh, the head directeur sportif.
The other riders set to remain are Australia’s Michael Rogers, Italy’s Daniele Bennati, Czech rider Roman Kreuziger, Polish duo Rafal Majka and Maciej Bodnar, Russians Pavel Brutt and Ivan Rovny, Robert Kiserlovski (Croatia), Sergio Paulihno (Portugal), Juraj Sagan (Slovakia), and Michael Valgren of Denmark.
“These extremely talented riders need no introduction. Their palmares speaks for itself, as they are among the who’s who of the professional peloton, with some of them household names,” said De Jongh.
“Together with some of the soon-to-be-announced extensions, these riders, obviously, form the core group upon which we will build the squad that will tackle the next season’s challenging goals.
“Whether 2015 is their first year with Tinkoff-Saxo or they have been with us for many years, I’m happy and privileged to head such a select group of riders”.
The next announcements will come Thursday when the team reveals the first of those whose contracts are ending will be given new deals. After that, further details about extensions and new signings will be made clear.