Noval, Hernandez and Majka extend with Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
Jesus Hernandez and Rafal Majka have extended their contracts with three seasons, while Benjamin Noval has extended for one year.
Both Jesus Hernandez and Benjamin Noval played a vital role in Alberto Contador's Vuelta a Espana victory as loyal domestiques, Hernandez contributing to Contador's success in the mountains and Noval on the flat and windy route sections. Noval and Hernandez have a close relationship with Contador both on and off the bike.
"Jesus and Benjamin have been very important in our win in the Vuelta, because of their dedication and loyalty towards Alberto (Contador) and the team. Benjamin (Noval) is the experienced and hardworking guy, who protects Alberto in the peloton, and Jesus (Hernandez) is not only an asset on the climbs, but also a training companion of Alberto. At the same time both of them are great personalities to work with, so it was natural to renew their contracts," team owner Bjarne Riis says.
"For me Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank is in many ways one of the best teams in the world. Second, Alberto is part of this team. These are the two main drivers behind my decision to stay. I feel part of a family here, I like the atmosphere, and I like the way the team and Bjarne work with the riders," Noval explained.
"It was an easy decision to renew my contract. I very much like being part of the team. I have some great teammates here and I'm happy to continue supporting Alberto in the races as he is a close friend of mine. I'm really looking forward to next season and hope for some big results for the team," Hernandez commented.
It is likely that Contador has demanded contract extensions for Noval and Hernandez as part of his agreement with the team.
This season, Majka, who spent the latest two years as part of Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank, was expected to ride the Giro d'Italia as the team's protected rider. But injury due to an early season crash ruined this option for Majka and the team. However, Majka recovered and returned to peak form in time for this year's Vuelta and left a big impression with Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank owner Bjarne Riis.
"Rafal is a rider to watch, and in my opinion he is one of the most promising young climbers in cycling today. We have been aware of his talent for some years now and have seen his steady development," Riis commented.
"I think it's fair to say that Rafal made a breakthrough for himself in this year's Vuelta. So to be able to renew with him is fantastic news for our team. I believe Rafal will be an important rider for us in the years to come, both as a domestique and a rider, who will make results on his own," team Riis added.
Not surprisingly, Majka himself is also pleased with having extended his contract with the team.
"Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank is a perfect fit for me. I'm still young, and I know I still have a lot to learn, and with Bjarne (Riis) as the manager and Alberto (Contador) as the team's leader, I feel I learn from the very best. I also feel great support from the whole team. I was sidelined for a significant part of the season due to injury, but there was no stress or pressure to get back on the bike before I was completely recovered. It means a lot for a young rider like me, that you feel the team has confidence in you," Majka explained.