Contador searches for a new team
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Friday, July 31, 2009

Contador searches for a new team

by VeloNation Press at 12:10 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
2009 Tour de France winner, Alberto Contador, will not stay with team Astana despite a four-year contract rumored to be worth 16 million euros.

Contador's brother Fran, who also acts as the Spaniard's agent, told French newspaper L'Equipe, "The future for Alberto is not only an issue of money. Psychologically he has been through a difficult season, and now we must make sure that his future will be calm."

The return of Alexandre Vinokourov to the Kazakh sponsored team following his two-year suspension will certainly have an impact on the team's image. Astana was banned from the 2008 Tour de France because of Vinokourov's doping scandal that erupted in the 2007 edition of the race. Despite a complete turnover in management, with Johan Bruyneel taking the helm, Contador was denied the chance to defend his 2007 title. The Kazakh's presence on the team will likely draw great criticism from the race organizers.

His agent said they have "nothing against the Kazakh's", but they would like to find a solution where Contador can race with another team for the rest of the year.

Speculation as to whether the financing problems for the team's salaries earlier his year were used as leverage to bring Vinokourov on board remain.

Both the Caisse d’Epargne and the Garmin-Slipstream teams have been circulated as possible homes for the two-time Tour de France winner.

With team leader Alejandro Valverde's doping implications, one might expect the Tour visit to Italy again, making the team in need a rider for the general classification.

Rumors earlier this year had Tour sensation Bradley Wiggins moving over the the new British Team Sky. Contador's arrival would certainly have a role in any decision made by Wiggins.

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