Zubeldia says that Bruyneel was factor in choice of RadioShack over Astana
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Zubeldia says that Bruyneel was factor in choice of RadioShack over Astana

by Conal Andrews at 6:22 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Bound until now by his contract with Astana, Haimar Zubeldia was officially confirmed yesterday as moving to RadioShack. He will join eleven other Astana riders there, racing alongside leaders Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and Andreas Klöden, as well as Janez Brajkovic, Chris Horner, Dmitriy Muravyev, Sergio Paulinho, Yaroslav Popovych, Gregory Rast, José Luis Rubiera and Tomas Vaitkus.

He said that a desire to continue working with Johan Bruyneel is his main motivation. “After much thought, I think it's the best sporting option for me,” the 32 year old said. “When I switched from Euskaltel-Euskadi, I signed with the Astana team manager Johan Bruyneel. Now that whole group has gone to this new team, so my first choice has always been RadioShack. Johan has always impressed me with his confidence and interest in me.

“I’ve always admired him. He has always managed large teams. Now, after working a year with him, I saw that the preconceived image I had was true. He has a great ability to lead and a great vision of racing, among many other positive things.”

Zubeldia has twice finished fifth in the Tour de France, achieving those results in 2003 and 2007, as well as finishing eighth three years ago. He’s a strong, solid rider, but knows that in going to RadioShack he will be a super-domestique rather than a leader. That suits him fine.

As a Spaniard, he risks being faulted at home for effectively choosing Armstrong over Contador, but insists it isn’t a choice about personalities or individuals. "I realize that my decision will not please everyone,” he admits, “but I must seek what is best for me. I know that some will try to get involved in the rivalry between Alberto and Lance, but I repeat that I seek the best for me. I have always been subject to the orders of the team to which I ride.”

The 2010 RadioShack Team will have its first meeting and training camp in Tucson, Arizona, during the second week of December 2009.


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