Valverde has no problem riding with Contador
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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Valverde has no problem riding with Contador

by Steve Jones at 5:02 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Alejandro Valverde has come out in support of fellow Spaniard Alberto Contador coming over to his Caisse d'Epargne team. After being tipped as a Grand Tour winner for years, Valverde finally won the Vuelta a España earlier this year. Valverde has said he doesn't have a problem with the team rallying around Contador in July and helping him to a third Tour de France victory.

"I absolutely do not consider him a danger to my own position [on the team]. He would be an incredible asset to our team. I expect absolutely no problems between us," explained Valverde.

After winning the Vuelta for the first time, Valverde will look to repeat his win in 2010 and also target the Spring Classics.

But in order for Spain's top two riders to ride for the same team they must first overcome a couple of big hurdles.

Contador is currently signed with Astana through 2010 and the team has refused to release him from his contract. And while the International Cycling Union has said a blunder by Astana management with the ProTour paperwork has given the Spaniard a way out, he hasn't been quick to jump for the exit.

Currently Contador is being very careful with his words, and his tact during the situation will serve him well regardless of the team he rides for next season.

The second obstacle that could prevent the Spanish duo from riding together is Alejandro Valverde's appointment with the Court of Arbitration in Sport on November 16th to defend his case against the two-year doping ban imposed by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI).

CONI have banned Valverde from racing on Italian soil based on a positive DNA match between his blood, that was taken from a 2008 Tour de France stage that finished in Italy, and blood bags seized during the Operación Puerto raids in Madrid in May of 2006.

If the Spaniard loses the case his doping ban will be extended globally for two years.


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