Bjarne Riis is keen to get back into cycling management, but it appears there aren't many people who want to work with him as MTN-Qhubeka rebuff his approach

MTN-Qhubeka general manager Brian Smith confirmed that Bjarne Riis has enquired about the possibility of joining the team and bringing substantial sponsorship money with him.

The Dane is looking for his next opportunity in cycling after leaving Tinkoff-Saxo following a disagreement with owner Oleg Tinkov.

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Danish newspaper BT reports that Riis’s relationship with Saxo Bank relationship with Saxo Bank manager Lars Seier Christiansen is strong enough that the bank would be willing to sponsor a team Riis is working with to the tune of over £3.5m per year.

But Riis is finding it tough to find a new employer, with his doping past and recent revelations about doped riders under his management at CSC causing teams to distance themselves from him.

“There has not been any negotiations on our part, but it is true that Bjarne Riis has inquired about the possibilities,” said MTN-Qhubeka’s Smith to BT.

“For us it has not been possible to initiate a collaboration with Bjarne Riis. Our values are not consistent with his history; Riis has previously doped. It was emphasised very clearly that it would not be feasible, and it was solely because of Riis.”

Riis has also been linked with Danish Pro Continental team Cult Energy Pro, who are set to fold before the end of the season because of ongoing financial issues.

  • John Senior

    Unfortunately not everyone can afford to have the principles of MTN but it will be a shame if Riis finds his way back into cycling. He cheated, encouraged and accepted cheating from his own riders and has managed no teams where there hasn’t been a doping issue of some kind.
    In the same way that Armstrong is banned due to the scale of his cheating and lack of real apology Riis should be as he has never admitted publicly the role he has played in the doping within his teams.

  • Steven Nicholson

    i like the Cult Energy team, its just unfortunate that in order to survive they have to accept Riis joining the team.

  • Nicholas Vicari

    With all the discussion about doping recently, I have to say it’s awesome to see a team so candidly saying the true reason for not dealing with Rhys. His doping past had come back to haunt him and like lance it appears to be hurting him – at least financially.

  • J1

    It’ll be Saxo Bank Cult Energy Pro next season.

  • Steven Nicholson

    in an ideal world Riis would have a life ban from cycling but unfortunately some team will take him up on the offer because they’re desperate for the cash.

  • Tony

    mmm Riis, a man to be kept at bay on the end of a very long pole!!