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Astana reconfirms Contador's role for 2010

By:
Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor
Published:
August 15, 2009, 20:14,
Updated:
August 15, 2009, 21:22
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, August 15, 2009
Alberto Contador waits patiently for proceedings to kick off in Surhuisterveen.

Alberto Contador waits patiently for proceedings to kick off in Surhuisterveen.

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Tour-winning team notes Spaniard's contractual obligations

Following rumors circulating that Alberto Contador may change teams for 2010, his current Astana team reconfirmed that the two-time Tour de France winner would stay on its roster for next season.

"Prior to the 2008 season, Contador signed a three-year contract with Team Astana, ensuring that the rider will represent the Kazakh sponsored team for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010," read a statement from Team Astana.

Kazakh sponsors are excited about Team Astana's future with Contador. "Our sponsors are keen to continue with the Team at least till the end of 2013. It is clear that Alberto Contador will be our absolute leader of the Team for next season," said Rinus Wagtmans, official spokesperson for the Kazakh authorities.

"We are surprised to read that many other teams have reportedly shown their intention to engage our Tour winner when he remains under contract. A transfer is not negotiable and we will honor the signed contract. We look forward to more victories from Alberto in 2010."

Wagtmans said that in addition, he'd spoken with the team's General Manager Johan Bruyneel about what has been a successful 2009 season thus far.

"Johan has ensured that he, as well as all riders and staff of the Team are looking forward to the remaining part of the season and are hopeful for more victories."

Contador has had a turbulent season at Astana. He is contracted to the Kazakh squad for another year, but has previously expressed his desire to break free and leave the squad at the end of the current season. Last month he turned down a lucrative contract-extension offer from Astana and has publicly stated the importance of moving to a team where he would be supported as sole leader.

On Friday, Contador discussed the possibilities of a move to Caisse d'Epargne, but acknowledged that he had some contract difficulties to overcome. The Spaniard said that he had received plenty of offers, but he declined to name which teams had made them.

Contador won the Tour de France in July, and his team Astana took top honors in the team category.

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