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Tour champion Contador chooses Saxo Bank; U.S. firm new co-sponsor

Alberto Contador, right, chats with Andy Schleck during the final stage of this year's Tour de France.
Alberto Contador, right, chats with Andy Schleck during the final stage of this year's Tour de France.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Alberto Contador will ride with Saxo Bank team as he seeks fourth Tour de France win
  • The Spaniard will leave Kazakh cycling outfit Astana at the end of this year
  • Contador's main 2010 rival Andy Schleck will be leaving Saxo Bank at end of year
  • U.S.-based company SunGard will be co-sponsor with Saxo Bank in 2011

(CNN) -- Three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador will race for the former team of this year's main rival Andy Schleck for the next two seasons.

The Spanish cyclist agreed a two-year contract with Riis Cycling on Tuesday as it was announced that Saxo Bank would remain as a sponsor in a joint deal with U.S.-based technology service company SunGard.

Tour runner-up Schleck announced at the end of last month that he and brother Frank would be leaving Saxo Bank at the end of this year, soon after Contador revealed that he would not be renewing his contract with Kazakh team Astana.

While the Schleck duo indicated they would be joining a new Luxembourg-based outfit, Contador has been brought in by their former boss Bjarne Riis.

Together we will have the ability to play a very important role in the world of cycling in the years to come
--Alberto Contador
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"I'm very happy and excited about signing a two-year contract with Riis Cycling," Contador told the team Saxo Bank website.

Contador quits Astana team

"With the unique philosophy and team spirit the team offers, I'm ensured solid support from the sponsors, administration and staff of riders that I'm looking forward to becoming a part of myself.

"Historically, Riis Cycling has always been successful and together, we will have the ability to play a very important role in the world of cycling in the years to come."

Contador finished his season with victory in France's Castillon-la-Bataille criterium race on Tuesday, heading off Sylvain Chavanel of Quick Step and Bbox's Pierrick Fedrigo.

The 46-year-old Riis, himself a Tour de France winner in 1996, was delighted to have Contador join his team.

"With three Tour de France victories on his resume and a position as number one on the world rankings, he is sure to stay at the very top for several years to come," Riis said.

Contador claims third Tour de France title

"Alberto will get a solid, strong and loyal team around him to support him in all terrains and I'm sure that this will be a fruitful alliance."

Danish investment bank Saxo Bank has been main team sponsor since 2009, and has extended its involvement for another year.

"Bjarne Riis has delivered excellent results over the past couple of years and has an impressive plan for 2011. We believe it's important to recognize an unprecedented opportunity when you see one and therefore, we have decided to continue our sponsorship for one more year," its co-founders Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen said in a joint statement.

"In Saxo Bank, we always aim for the top and we believe Bjarne Riis and his team can reach that goal next year. While our past collaboration with Bjarne has been fantastic, we also know and trust the new co-title sponsor, SunGard, and that has made this strategic decision an even easier one to make."