Boost for Roche’s Team Saxo

Saxo Bank stepping up to fill the estimated €6 million shortfall in budget

Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov got involved with the team last year but then said he was withdrawing his backing. Photograph: Getty

Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov got involved with the team last year but then said he was withdrawing his backing. Photograph: Getty

Fri, Oct 11, 2013, 01:00

Nicolas Roche’s team has received much needed reassurance that its budget will be covered next year, with Saxo Bank stepping up to fill the estimated €6 million shortfall which will be created when co-sponsor Tinkoff Bank departs at the end of the season.

Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov got involved with the team last year but then said he was withdrawing his backing after Alberto Contador proved unable to win the 2013 Tour de France.

That put a question mark over the team, with owner Bjarne Riis struggling to secure a second title sponsor. However, Contador, Roche and the other riders can now rest easy after the Saxo Bank company announced the increased financial involvement yesterday at a press conference in Madrid.

Roche has said that he is hoping to ride the Giro d’Italia next season, with the hosting of the first three days in Ireland being a major draw for him. His schedule for 2014 has not been decided yet.