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Caisse d'Epargne seeking second sponsor to sign Contador

By:
Richard Tyler
Published:
August 12, 2009, 16:20 BST,
Updated:
August 12, 2009, 16:46 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, August 13, 2009
Alberto Contador (Astana) waits for the start.

Alberto Contador (Astana) waits for the start.

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Pereiro contemplates retirement from cycling

Caisse d'Epargne's Team Director Eusebio Unzué has confirmed his interest in signing two-time Tour de France winner, Alberto Contador, to the Spanish squad. Unzué told Spanish media on Tuesday that he was looking for a second sponsor in order to support the team's bid to recruit Contador from current squad, Astana.

"Signing [Contador] is feasible, but for the moment is difficult," Unzué told Spanish newspaper Diairo de Navarra. "He would have to be released from his contract with Astana. We are looking for a second sponsor to do that."

Unzué also revealed that Óscar Pereiro may leave the team as he battles ongoing fatigue and a lack of motivation. Pereiro has not raced since he abandoned the Tour de France on July 11. The 2006 Tour de France winner told Spanish newspaper Marca on Tuesday that he has considered retirement from the sport.

"I have nothing to hide," he said. "Coming to the end of my contract with Caisse d'Epargne I have three options: renew, change of scenery or quit. I am considering the latter possibility. If I can not find the motivation to continue riding a bike, I will retire."

The confirmation of Caisse d'Epargne's interest in Contador and news of Pereiro's possible exit come amid a storm of transfers in-and-out of the ProTour squad. Diairo de Navarra also reported that Unzué had plans to downsize the squad from 28 to 25 riders for 2010.

The team has confirmed that Joaquim Rodriguez, Marlon Perez and Anthony Charteau will leave the squad at the end of the season.

Last week, Italian Marzio Bruseghin signed on with the team for two years, while Former French champion Christophe Moreau signed a one-year deal. Spanish press agency EFE reports that the team is also keen to aquire the services of Colombian Maurizio Soler (Barloworld) and Belarusian Kanstantsin Sivtsov (Columbia-HTC).

The team said it has secured extensions with five of its current riders and is engaged in negotiations with a further five, including Chente García, Imanol Erviti and Xabier Zandio. 

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