Alberto Contador’s Tour de France team will receive more funding from online trader and money manager Saxo Bank A/S, guaranteeing its future for next year after another sponsor quit.
The Danish bank agreed to increase backing after Oleg Tinkov’s Tinkoff Credit Systems Bank said it was withdrawing its sponsorship, team manager Bjarne Riis told a news conference in Madrid. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Tinkov plans to start his own cycling team.
The Saxo Bank team had income of 9.06 million euros ($12.3 million) in 2012, which was mostly spent on rider salaries, according to the latest financial filing by Riis Cycling A/S. Saxo Bank co-chief executive Lars Seier Christensen declined to discuss its contribution.
Contador, 30, won the Tour de France in 2007 and 2009 with the Discovery Channel and Astana teams. He was stripped of his 2010 title with Astana after testing positive for the banned drug clenbuterol. The Spaniard joined the Saxo Bank team for the 2011 season.
He agreed to take a pay cut of as much as 15 percent on his $4.5 million salary this year to stay with the team, according to Danish newspaper BT.
Contador, who was fourth at this year’s Tour, told the news conference he was staying loyal to the team after teammates rode “out of their skin” to support him.
Christensen told reporters the bank’s extra backing was a “good deal,” boosting its exposure and allowing it to continue with corporate hospitality. He said Saxo Bank took out 100 hedge fund managers wearing team jerseys on a 30-mile ride with Contador outside Zurich yesterday.
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