Two-time Tour winner likely to race with Astana
Alberto Contador's first words after watching the route of the 2010 Tour de France were "I like this course."
It wasn't completely new for him as he heard quite a lot of rumours before heading to Paris. He had heard there would be a cobblestone stage in the north of France. "Racing on the pavés is something I like to watch on TV, but not ride on," he said. "It will be spectacle that day."
He refused to give too much importance to that cobblestone stage. "I actually think this is a better course for me than in 2009. There are more mountains, and finishing with the Tourmalet is super for me."
Contador expects a lot of Spanish fans to support him in the Pyrénées for the specific centennial of the Tour de France going over the mountains that separate France and Spain.
"It can't really predict anything for next year's race as long as I don't know the team I'll have on my side," he continued.
Contador, 26, has one more year in his contract with Astana and the team has already said he would remain for 2010. He said in recent months, however, that he prefers to leave the team.
"I'm looking forward to October 20. Everything will have to be decided by then because this is the deadline for the teams to provide all the documents to the UCI."
The day before the Tour de France presentation, Contador was a guest at the Senate in Paris. He admitted he's "worried" about the current situation of the Astana team. Johan Bruyneel and the Kazakhs are still in negotiations since Belgian Bruyneel also has another year on his contract.
Bruyneel is still unsure whether or not he'll officially join Lance Armstrong's RadioShack. "I might as well take a year off," he said.
Contador has had contacts with teams Garmin, Caisse d'Epargne and Quick Step.
"The possibility to join one of these teams has been considered, but I've realised it was pointless to tussle with Astana", Contador said. "I've been told my departure from Astana was not negotiable."
After talks with Theo De Rooy and Giuseppe Martinelli, the Kazakh team is now rumoured to hire a French manager to clean up their image and take a new start.
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