Saxo to end cycle sponsorship
Cycling sources in the FX market (There is such a thing? Ed.) say that Saxo Bank is poised to announce it will stop sponsoring its professional cycling team at the end of 2010. The bank's decision to take over the sponsorship of Team CSC, run by former Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis, was announced in the summer of 2008 and initially raised some eyebrows in the FX market. However, the decision paid dividends when Spain's Carlos Sastre won the 2008 Tour de France. In 2009, Saxo's Andy Schleck, widely considered as one of the most talented young riders in the sport, came second, while his older brother Fränk came fifth.
Although Saxo has never said how much the sponsorship cost, it has increased brand awareness globally. The bank has given Riis an unusually long time to find a replacement sponsor; his cause will be helped no end if the younger Schleck manages to go one better in this year's Tour. If so, expect the Danes to be out in force again on the Champs-Elysées in July.