Bjarne Riis may be fighting to win the Tour de France next year with the very man he is trying to beat in the next four days: Spain’s Alberto Contador.

“I have heard the rumours,” said Riis yesterday. “I don’t think I should comment on speculations.”

Riis announced on the first rest day in Morzine, July 12, that he found a new title sponsor to replace Saxo Bank at the end of this season. The rumour is that bicycle manufacturer Specialized will step in for 2011 with co-sponsor SunGard.

SunGard is an American software company. It currently is one of the team’s many sub-sponsors, but Riis confirmed in Morzine that it will be co-sponsor to his new title sponsor next year.

“I cannot announce the name [of the title sponsor] right now, because of the business strategy of this company,” said Riis in Morzine. “It has to be done later and it won’t be done during this Tour. That’s the agreement we have with them.”

USA’s Specialized currently provides bicycles and other equipment for Riis’ Saxo Bank team and Astana. The two teams are battling for the Tour de France title, with Astana’s Contador leading Saxo Bank’s Andy Schleck by eight seconds.

At the end of last season, Contador nearly left Astana, but stayed on at the last moment after making a personal sponsorship deal with Specialized for two years (2010 and 2011).

“We don’t want to have another year like last year,” Contador’s agent and brother, Francisco Contador, told French paper L’Equipe. “There are already discussions with Astana and we have offers from other teams.”

A new Luxembourg team headed by Brian Nygaard will likely sign Andy Schleck and his brother Fränk next season. Their move would make space for Riis to bring in Contador and his key helpers.

Tour de France 2010: Latest news

Armstrong has his last go in the Tour

Tour’s points leader Petacchi investigated for doping

Contador issues video apology to Schleck

Millar searches horizon for Eiffel Tower

Schleck-Contador friendship turns sour after chain problem

Wiggins at 2010 Tour: “I haven’t got it”

Basso wins Tour’s acceptance; podium spot next goal

Contador versus Schleck: A game of seconds

Can Cav win without Renshaw?

Hesjedal pushing his way to the Tour’s top

Renshaw disqualification overshadows Cavendish’s win

Charly Wegelius pulls out of Tour

Did Armstrong own a stake in Tailwind Sports, or not?

Cavendish in a ‘must win’ situation for Tour’s green jersey

Millar rides through pain barrier to make time cut

Roche alongside Tour’s top men ahead of Pyrenees

Wiggins to aim for Tour de France stage win?

Dan Lloyd battles on in Tour despite groin strain

Tour de France 2010: Stage reports

Rest day review (July 21)

Stage 16: Fedrigo takes tough Pyrenean stage

Stage 15: Victorious Voeckler continues fine Franch Tour as Contador takes yellow jersey

Stage 14: Riblon hangs on in Pyrenees to give France fourth stage win

Stage 13: Vino returns to top of Tour after doping ban

Stage 12: Rodriguez wins as Contador attacks

Stage 11: Cavendish bags third stage win but lead out man kicked out of Tour

Stage 10: Cavendish bags third stage win but his lead-out man is kicked out of race

Stage 10: Paulinho claims narrow stage victory on Bastille day

Stage nine: Casar wins stage as Schleck and Contador go head-to-head

Stage seven: Chavanel wins stage and takes overall as Thomas drops out of Tour’s white

Stage six: Cavendish makes it two as Tour hots up

Stage five: Cavendish wins his first stage of Tour

Stage four: Petacchi wins into Reims

Stage three: Hushovd takes dramatic win; Thomas second on stage and GC

Stage three live coverage: As it happened

Stage two: Comeback man Chavanel takes victory in Spa

Stage one: Petacchi wins in Brussels as bunch left in tatters

Prologue: Cancellara pips Martin to win

Tour de France 2010: Photos

Stage 15 photo gallery

Stage 14 photo gallery

Stage 13 photo gallery

Stage 12 photo gallery

Stage 11 photo gallery

Stage 10 photo gallery

Stage nine photo gallery

Stage eight photo gallery

Tour 2010 wallpaper

Stage seven photo gallery

Stage six photo gallery

Stage five photo gallery

Stage four photo gallery

Stage three photo gallery

Stage two photo gallery

Stage one gallery

Prologue photo gallery

Tour de France 2010: Videos

Stage 16 video highlights

Stage 15 video highlights

Stage 14 video highlights

Stage 13 video highlights

Stage 12 video highlights

Stage 11 video highlights

Stage 10 video highlights

Stage nine video highlights

Stage eight video highlights

Stage seven video highlights

Stage six video highlights

Stage five video highlights

Stage four video highlights

Stage three video highlights

Stage two video highlights

Stage one video highlights

Prologue video highlights

Tour de France 2010: Race guide

Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

Official start list, with race numbers

Brits at the Tour 2010

Tout team guide

Tour jerseys: What they are and what they mean

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins

Tour de France 2010: Pictures

Tour team presentation, Rotterdam

Tour teams take to the cobbles: Photo special