Zubeldia turns down Nibali/Astana approach to stay with RadioShack Nissan
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Zubeldia turns down Nibali/Astana approach to stay with RadioShack Nissan

by VeloNation Press at 5:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Appears to be confirmation team will continue

Haimar ZubeldiaFollowing reports of missed salary payments for some of its key riders plus the positive test for a banned diuretic by Frank Schleck during the Tour de France, much speculation has surrounded the future of the RadioShack Nissan team. This has been compounded by the dropping share price of the main sponsor and rumours of financial difficulties for Flavio Becca, another big backer.

However the team’s top Tour de France rider Haimar Zubeldia appears not to have doubts about the team’s future, saying that he had turned down a tentative approach from Vincenzo Nibali, who is expected to lead the Astana team next year.

The Basque rider, who finished sixth overall in the Tour after being treated for heart rhythm abnormalities earlier this year, said that Nibali spoke to him on Sunday in Paris, asking him about his contract situation. “I explained that I have another year signed with RadioShack and am comfortable in the team,” Zubeldia told Diario Vasco. “So far I have not spoken with Johan Bruyneel. On Sunday he was in Paris at the team dinner, but do not talk about that.”

Zubeldia is not on the Spanish team for the Olympic Games, despite his strong performance in France. He’s currently riding a series of post-Tour criteriums.

According to the Basque newspaper, third-placed Tour finisher Nibali wants Rabobank’s Laurens ten Dam and current Liquigas-Cannondale team-mates Alessandro Vanotti and Valerio Agnolli to accompany him in moving to Astana.

The Kazakh team is currently led by Alexandre Vinokourov, who has indicated he will retire at the end of the season.


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