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"The value of riders like Nicki and Karsten can hardly be underestimated as they add a great amount of stability to the team and at the same time they are simply great guys to be around," manager Bjarne Riis says

Photo: Sirotti

KARSTEN KROON

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NICKI SØRENSEN

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NEWS
17.12.2013 @ 18:56 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Team Tinkoff-Saxo has guaranteed itself plenty of experienced support in the coming season by renewing the contracts of Karsten Kroon and Nicki Sørensen for another season. While the duo still have personal ambitions, they are mostly looking forward to supporting their younger teammates in the coming season.

 

After securing its future when Oleg Tinkov announced the purchase of the squad, Team Tinkoff-Saxo is now putting the final touches to its roster for the coming season. Today the team has made sure that it will have the needed experience to fight for the overall win in the biggest races in the world by renewing the contract with Nicki Sørensen and Karsten Kroon for another season.

 

38-year-old Sørensen will stay on the team for his 14th consecutive season and will again be an important support rider. Despite often sacrificing his chances for his teammates, he has won stages in both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana and has four Danish championships on his palmares.

 

While Sørensen still has personal ambitions, he knows that he is first and foremost a domestique.

 

“I still have a great passion for the sport, and I couldn't imagine being anywhere else than on this team, so I'm happy to extend my contract for another year, my 14th season with the team," he said. "Naturally, I'm targeting results on my own in 2014, but I'm more than happy to be a supporting rider as well as sharing my experience with the young riders."

 

Kroon was once one of the best classics riders in the world who got agonizingly close to the dream win for every Dutchman when he finished 2nd in the 2009 Amstel Gold Race. He has been 3rd in the Fleche Wallonne, 4th in the Tour of Flanders and 5th in Il Lombardia and has won a stage in the Tour de France and the Rund um den Henninger Turm (now known as the Rund um den Finanzplatz) twice.

 

He joined the team in 2006 but rode for BMC in 2010 and 2011 before returning to Bjarne Riis's squad. While he is no longer able to win the biggest classics himself, he is happy to use his vast experience to support his captains.

 

“I'm very happy to be able to stay with this great team for another year," he said. "I know that I'm not as strong as when I was 30, but I feel I can provide a lot of experience to the young riders. Basically, I love riding my bike and as long as my passion is intact and I've got something to offer, I want to be in the peloton. There are still good riders out there without a contract for next year, so obviously I feel very fortunate to continue to be part of one the best teams out there."

 

Team manager Bjarne Riis is happy to renew the contracts with two of his senior riders.

 

"The value of riders like Nicki and Karsten can hardly be underestimated as they add a great amount of stability to the team and at the same time they are simply great guys to be around," he said.

 

"Nicki might be a veteran by now, but he is still very strong and motivated. He takes a lot of responsibility in races and training and is one of the riders, who act as an extended arm of the sport management, and with his experience he can race every single race in the calendar.

"A lof of the same qualities goes with Karsten," he added. "He is a key person in our classic campaign using his skills and routine to guide his teammates in the peloton. He knows these races better than most riders, and this definitely had a great impact on Roman's [Kreuziger] win in Amstel Gold Race this year."

 

The renewals come one day after the announcement that Matteo Tosatto and Oliver Zaugg have also renewed their contracts.

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