Former Olympic track champion Luke Roberts has re-signed with Saxo Bank-SunGard, the Danish cycling outfit announced on Thursday. The 34-year-old Roberts, who won team pursuit gold at the Athens Games in 2004, has signed a one-year deal with the team he rode for in 2005-2007. Team owner and manager Bjarne Riis, who also announced the signing of Polish talent Rafal Majka, is hoping Roberts will reinforce his team's campaigns in the one-day classics and Grand Tours.
"We know Luke and his assets very well. He is a real pro, strong and experienced, and he is a rider you can rely on in all kinds of races," said Riis. "He has experience from Grand Tours and the ability to strengthen our classics group. So I'm obviously happy to get him on board."
Roberts rode for the now-defunct German outfit Milram until December and, having then signed with Pegasus, is only too happy after the fledgling Australian outfit failed to secure crucial financial backing and collapsed at the end of last year.
"I'm extremely grateful that Bjarne Riis has offered me this opportunity and I really want to repay the trust the team has shown me in a difficult situation," Roberts said. "I think I bring a lot to the team. I can make an impact in the classics, be a leader in smaller races and a hardworking domestic in Grand Tours. Last year I rode both the Giro (d'Italia) and the Tour de France for Milram."
Majka, 21, comes to the team having shown his potential at a recent training camp. "I had Rafal Majka recommended some months ago," added Riis. "He attended our last training camp on Mallorca, made a strong impression and convinced me that he is a huge talent. He is young, a strong all rounder and a skilled climber, so this was an offer that was hard to refuse. My hope is to build him into a stage race rider."