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