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No truth in Dan Martin rumour, Moncoutié wants one more year
Although there's still several weeks to the International Cycling Union's (UCI) September 1 deadline, when 2010 team line-ups and rider transfers can be officially announced, details are leaking out about who is going where – and, equally relevant – who is not.
One of those incorrectly linked to a move is Daniel Martin. The promising 23-year-old finished second in this year’s Volta a Catalunya and had been linked to the new Team Sky setup. Although he has Irish nationality, he has previously raced for Great Britain and his presence on the 2010 team had been perceived as a logical fit.
Not so, say senior figures from both Garmin-Slipstream and Team Sky.
“Daniel has a contract with us until the end of 2010,” said Garmin Manager Jonathan Vaughters. “He’s not moving to Sky next year,” confirmed Team Sky Directeur Sportif Scott Sunderland.
David Moncoutié is reported by L’Equipe to be close to signing a new deal with Cofidis, saying that he is keen to ride what what would be his 14th season, both with the team and as a professional cyclist. However, he said that he would have different objectives to before.
“I am thinking of racing one more year, but without doing the Tour [de France] as I didn’t enjoy it this summer,” he is quoted as saying. “I need another motivation. For example, basing my season around week-long races and returning to the Vuelta a España, a race that I have enjoyed. And I’d also like to ride for a leader, something that I have never done.”
According to Het Nieuwsblad, Cofidis has agreed to contract terms with Kevin Ista (Agritubel) and Jens Keukeleire (Soenens-Yamadoo).
Another French outfit AG2R La Mondiale will have a new look next year, with seven riders departing according to cyclismag. Aurélien Clerc, Renaud Dion, Cédric Pineau, Alexandr...
No transfers confirmed as BMC looks toward future Tour de France participation
Rumours that Columbia-HTC's George Hincapie and Astana's Levi Leipheimer are entertaining the possibility of joining the fast-growing, American-based BMC Racing Team continue to circulate as the hustle and bustle of rider-team transfers for the 2010 season builds momentum.
The Professional Continental team is based in Leipheimer's hometown of Santa Rosa, California. Although Leipheimer could not confirm what team he will race for in 2010, he acknowledged his fondness of BMC's program. "I can't make any formal announcement about my next team right now," Leipheimer said to Cycingnews. "As you know, we are both based in Santa Rosa, and I think very highly of them so I'm not surprised by these 'rumblings'."
Leipheimer's current contract with Astana expires at the end of 2009, leaving the path open for the three-time Tour of California winner to make a transition from the team where he has ridden for the past two years. "He [Leipheimer] has a contract until the end of 2009," Philipe Maertens, Astana's press officer, told Cyclingnews on Tuesday. "So he will find a new contract either with Astana or another team."
Hincapie is in a position similar to Leipheimer's, with his contract to Columbia-HTC due to end this season. Cyclingnews spoke to Hincapie about his future plans, but the 36-year-old declined to comment on where he would ride next year.
If Leipheimer and Hincapie sign with BMC, it will not be the first time that they have ridden on the same team. Both riders have spent periods of their professional careers with the former US Postal/Discovery Channel formation. Hincapie rode for the American squad for ten years (1997-2007), while Leipheimer was a member of US Postal for two years (2000-2001) and Discovery Channel in 2007.