Licence delays due only to technical problems, team says
Alberto Contador will ride for Team Astana in the 2010 season, according to a spokesman from the Kazakh Cycling Federation. The Tour de France winner, who has a contract with the team for the coming year, was rumoured to be leaving the team due to questions about it financial stability, with Garmin, Quick Step and Caisse d'Epargne all believed to be interested in the Spaniard's signature.
“We have absolutely no problems with Alberto Contador, and he will compete with Astana next season,” Kazakh Cycling Federation deputy president Nikolai Proskurin told the AP news agency.
Last week it was announced that the team had not fulfilled its filing obligations for renewal of its ProTour licence for 2010. The UCI confirmed that under its regulations, this would allow Contador to break his contract and leave the team.
“Certain people, it is unclear who, have completely dreamed this up, but there has been no occasion on which he has made an official statement on this issue,” Proskurin said.
Proskurin added that the delays in the licence renewal were due only to technical problems, and that all documentation has now been submitted. “The issue is simply that we need to provide additional documents because we have changed our sponsors,” he said.
The team's new exclusive sponsor through 2012 is Samruk-Kazyna, a state holding company which includes oil and gas company Kasmunaigas and the national airline, Air Astana.
Contador, 26, won this year's Tour de France with his Astana teammate Lance Armstrong finishing third. Armstrong and sport director Johan Bruyneel have already left Astana to form a new team, Team RadioShack.
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