Copenhagen - Saxo Bank, the online trading and investment specialist, will continue as the title sponsor for Riis Cycling A/S whether Alberto Contador will be on the team in 2011 or not.
Saxo Bank’s decision to continue its sponsorship is based on a desire to support Bjarne Riis.
“It is hard to exaggerate the role that Bjarne Riis plays in Danish and international cycling. This is also true for his development of the anti-doping program everyone uses, today. Regardless of the outcome of this sad case, we have unwavering confidence in Bjarne Riis”, says Lars Seier Christensen, Co-CEO and co-founder of Saxo Bank.
“We want to be part of the efforts to ensure that Danish cycling continues to have the best possible platform to maintain its international lead. Just look how Matti Breschel came second in this year's World championship. It is an enormous inspiration and motivation for young Danish talents that we have a world class cycling team in Denmark”, says Lars Seier Christensen.
On September 30, following the announcement that a doping test of Alberto Contador during Tour de France turned positive both in the A and B test, Saxo Bank said it still had full confidence in Bjarne Riis and his decisions regarding organisational matters and sports issues. For that reason, the Bank would not make any statements before further information was available from Bjarne Riis. Since then, there has been some speculation that the Bank has a clause in the contract in case Contador was found guilty or if he, for some other reason, could not be riding for Riis Cycling A/S in 2011. This is now confirmed by the Bank.
“We have been given permission to reveal that Saxo Bank indeed has a clause in its contract with the cycling team that Alberto Contador will be engaged as a rider for the team in 2011. However, I have agreed with Bjarne Riis and the team management that Saxo Bank will ignore this clause if Alberto Contador, against expectations, will not be on the team next year. While I am obviously not an expert, I personally trust Alberto Contador’s explanation and expect him to be able to ride for the team in 2011 as planned”, says Lars Seier Christensen.
Lars Seier Christensen still believes it is a good commercial decision for the Bank to support the cycling team.
“During this year's Tour de France, Politiken, a Danish newspaper, said that in their view Bjarne Riis was Denmark’s best sports brand. This is a view that we share. We continue to think that it’s a good commercial decision to support Bjarne Riis and his cycling team”, says Lars Seier Christensen.
Saxo Bank is an investment bank specialising in online trading and investment. In August, the Bank announced its best half year results ever with a net profit of DKK 551 million as a result of positive developments in key drivers such as the number of clients, number of trades and trading volumes.
On 3 August, 2010, Saxo Bank announced that the Bank had taken a strategic decision to sponsor the Team in 2011.