Contador talks teams as 2010 negotations continue
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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Contador talks teams as 2010 negotations continue

by Conal Andrews at 10:16 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France

Describing the thoughts of racing with Caisse d’Epargne in 2010 as a ‘superb opportunity’, Alberto Contador has increased speculation that he will be riding for a new team next season. However the double Tour de France winner has told the Spanish newspaper AS that he is still prepared to talk to Astana, even though the UCI has officially stated that he is free to leave.

“My lawyers are studying the situation,” he said. “What counts is what the UCI says, but I am already much more relaxed to make the decision. I want to know about the Astana project for 2010. The first thing is to know what will happen with my team because I still have [the option] of another year on my contract there.”

Given all that has happened this year with the team, it appears unlikely that he will stay. Even so, he said that the level of the riders signed up for 2010 means that he would be more confident if he did decide to spend one more year in the blue, white and yellow colours of Astana.

Contador said that the signings of David de la Fuente, Gorazd Stangelj and Paolo Tiralongo added considerable strength to the squad, but also confirmed that Caisse d'Epargne, Liquigas, Quick Step and Garmin had been chasing his signature.

“There is something there with those teams,” he said of the suitors. “Any of those is a good choice to race with next year. It’s clear that I would hope to be part of a Spanish team and that Caisse [d’Epargne] is a a superb opportunity. Let’s see what happens, as you have to study everything carefully.”

With five teams or more chasing his signature, it’s clear that the four-time Grand Tour winner is in a very strong position and is likely to command a very large salary for next season. In fact, he was also connected with yet another team earlier this summer, but the Spaniard confirms that the project connected with Formula One driver Fernando Alonso is on hold. “That’s completely stopped,” he said. “It is impossible to create a team from scratch in 2010 but it could still be put together in a not-too distant future.”

Whatever team he ultimately chooses, the Tour de France is the clear goal for next season. He hasn’t ruled out the possibility of also riding the Vuelta a España, a race he won in 2008. “I’d like to win another Vuelta before the Spanish public,” he stated.


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