Transfer news: Contador has four options, Kashechkin to Lampre
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Thursday, July 08, 2010

Transfer news: Contador has four options, Kashechkin to Lampre

by Conal Andrews at 4:08 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Tour champion in big demand, while second chance beckons for Kazakh rider

Alberto ContadorDefending tour de France champion Alberto Contador is understandably one of the hottest names in the sport and will become even more attractive to professional teams if he wins his third Tour de France this month. His current contact with the Astana team is due to expire at the end of the season, and he is currently weighing up options for 2011 and beyond.

According to CQ Ranking, his brother and agent Fran Contador has revealed that he has four options for next year: one is to remain with Astana, while Garmin-Transitions, Caisse d’Epargne and Quick Step are also keen to sign the 27 year old.

Each of the teams were to the forefront of negotiations last season, but Contador was unable to break his contract with the Astana team and so had to stay put. He has reportedly been offered a lucrative three-year deal to remain in the colours of the Kazakh squad, but moving to a new set-up is something which may prove attractive to him.

Caisse d’Epargne is due to lose its title sponsor this year but is rumoured as being of interest to Banco Santander, who would take over at the helm. The Formula One driver Fernando Alonso has also been linked to the project. He stated last season that he wanted to be part of the management of a top cycling team, and to work with Contador.

Caisse d’Epargne lost the services of Alejandro Valverde, who is currently serving a ban that will run until 2012. Contador would be therefore of great interest to the Spanish-managed team.

Quick Step is thought to be keen to develop into more than just a Classics squad, particularly as it has had a relatively quiet time in recent Tours de France. Its sprinter Tom Boonen has failed to shine in the race, but Sylvain Chavanel salvaged its current campaign with a superb solo win that netted him a day in the yellow jersey.

The Garmin-Transitions team is also interested in the rider, who has taken two Tours, a Giro and a Vuelta to date.

Meanwhile Kazakh rider Andrey Kashechkin will end a long period in the wilderness when he dons the colours of the Lampre-Farnese Vini team later this month. The all-rounder will make his debut with the team in the Tour of Breschia. Riding the Vuelta a España would appear to be one option, as the team has a place in the race.

Kasheckin won a stage and was third overall in the 2006 Vuelta, but then incurred a lengthy ban when he tested positive for a blood transfusion after the 2007 Tour de France. He was eligible to return to competition last year but was unable to find a pro team willing to take him on.

The 30 year old now has the chance for a fresh start, and will be keen to get his career back on track.

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