Vinokourov has no problem with Contador
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Vinokourov has no problem with Contador

by VeloNation Press at 12:23 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Rumors are circulating that 2009 Tour de France winner Alberto Contador will extend his contract with team Astana for two years. The fact that both Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel are leaving the team has opened up as door for Contador to stay.

The Kazakh team is set to stage Alexandre Vinokourov's return to the professional peloton after serving a two-year ban for blood doping. Vino, as he's known, has already said he doesn't mind taking a back seat to the Spaniard when it comes to the world's biggest bike race, the Tour de France.

And why wouldn't he? The fact that Tour organizers have an air tight case for excluding him from the race indefinitley is quite obvious. But that isn't the biggest factor that Contador will need to weigh in his decision.

In 2008 he and his Astana team were denied entry into the race because of the fallout from their returning leader. Contador went on to win the "other" two Grand Tours that year. But Will the association with Vinokourov endager his chances for winning a third Tour before even turning a pedal? And will the International Cycling Union be willing to grant a ProTour license to the team under different management, especially after the tone of their press release earlier this week?

Seems like a risky proposition for what some would consider a "shoe-in" for next years Tour. One thing is for certain - whatever he decides, the Spaniard will need a crafty director to guide him through the onslaught from teams RadioShack, Saxo Bank, and Garmin-Slipstream.

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