Contador to stay at Astana, but with conditions
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Contador to stay at Astana, but with conditions

by Ben Atkins at 3:50 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Finally, after months of speculation, it appears that Tour de France champion Alberto Contador will be staying with the Astana team, seeing out the final year of his existing contract. In a statement to the Spanish press, the Kazakh-sponsored team confirmed:

"Alberto Contador and his current team, Astana, have reached a preliminary agreement to fulfil the remainder of the contract that binds them to the end of 2010. The tentative agreement reached by both sides includes a number of prerequisites for that Contador continues in Astana the 2010 season, essentially, that the team retains its ProTour license and strict compliance with the code of ethics and internal doping control system that's implemented by the new team leadership.”

As the statement suggests, the deal could potentially be null and void if the Kazakh team fails to retain its ProTour license. With the deadline for the submission of documentation and guarantees falling at the end of tomorrow (Friday, November 20th) this could be a very short agreement.

With the departure of Director Sportif Johan Bruyneel, along with much of the team staff and infrastructure, to Lance Armstrong’s new Team RadioShack, Contador evidently approves of the new structure put in place.

“Contador took the decision to see out the end of his contract with Astana once he found that both Yvon Sanquer was to be the new team manager and Giuseppe Martinelli the Director Sportif,” the statement continued, “ensuring the reliability and competitiveness of the new project in Astana, as they have managed together, despite the short time span, a group of high-quality riders who deal with guarantees of success sporting goals next season.”

“The contract will be only one year,” the statement confirmed, “as it is a new project for Astana, Alberto Contador has the possibility of making a decision on his longer term future, but he does not waive the possibility to leave at the end of 2010.”

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