Astana wants four Kazakh riders in Tour, six in Giro
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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Astana wants four Kazakh riders in Tour, six in Giro

by Conal Andrews at 10:48 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Alberto Contador stayed with the Astana team on the understanding that it would do its utmost to help him win another Tour de France, but it appears that politics could have as much an impact on squad selection as the riders’ form will.

According to l’Equipe, the vice-president of the Kazakh Cycling Federation Nikolaï Proskurine has said that he wants four Kazakh riders to be part of the nine-man squad in the Tour team.

In addition to that, he wants six out of the nine Giro d’Italia riders to be from the country.

If this is imposed, it will be a controversial decision as many of the team’s international riders have a better past record than the Kazakh riders.

Alexandre Vinokourov is the obvious exception, but it remains to be seen if Tour de France organisers will welcome him back to the race.

He was disqualified from the event in 2007 after testing positive for a homologous blood transfusion.

Contador and the team managers will expect to have an input into the team composition for the Tour, and so any demands that riders are taken based on their nationality alone are likely to be contentious.

He is due to remain with the team for the 2010 season, seeing out the remainder of his contract.


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