Contador, Schlecks, Cancellara and others to switch teams for 2011, says Italian newspaper
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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Contador, Schlecks, Cancellara and others to switch teams for 2011, says Italian newspaper

by Samuel Morrison at 9:20 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Big surprises in store following UCI announcement

Alberto Contador, Fabian Cancellara and the Schleck brothers are all switching teams at the end of this season, according to Italian newspaper Tuttosport.

The daily sports newspaper says teams will likely make deals after June 23, the date of an important International Cycling Union (UCI) meeting. The UCI is expected to announce many changes to the current setup of ProTour and second division teams, including a decision that will allow the top 17 teams to participate in the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España without waiting for the organisers' consent.

In the last month, three important episodes occurred that have affected the transfer market for top teams. A) The UCI stopped Franco Pellizotti for irregular blood and urine values in his biological passport; B) Ivan Basso won the Giro d'Italia, officially marking his comeback from a doping suspension, with the help of a maturing Vincenzo Nibali; and C) Alejandro Valverde's disqualification was extended from Italy to a worldwide level, through 2011.

Valverde's Caisse d'Epargne is now without a leader for the Grand Tours and, according to Tuttosport, is ready offer to Alberto Contador a four-year contract at €7 million a year. Contador's Astana team-mates Benjamin Noval and Jesús Hernández will likely also head to Caisse d'Epargne in 2011.

Astana's Alexander Vinokourov could retire at the end of the year and then would probably become team manager. He will replace Contador with two riders, Fränk and Andy Schleck. Their current team manager, Bjarne Riis, has not yet found a replacement sponsor for Saxo Bank. The lack of a sponsor also leaves Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix winner Fabian Cancellara free. Tuttosport says that he will sign for Cadel Evans' BMC Racing team.

During the Giro d'Italia, Liquigas confirmed its sponsorship and the contracts of Basso and Nibali for two more years. However, it will likely let Pellizotti go and pull in reinforcements for the duo. One name the Tuttosport mentions as a super-domestique is David Arroyo. Arroyo saw his market value rise in the Giro d'Italia when he led the race for five days and finished second to Basso.

Tuttosport also wrote that Team Sky is interested in signing Damiano Cunego from Lampre-Farnese Vini, who may sign Michele Scarponi and Pellizotti, if he clears his name. In addition to Scarponi, team Androni will lose Francesco Ginanni, who is destined to join fellow Tuscan Rinaldo Nocentini at AG2R La Mondiale.


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