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Alberto Contador waits patiently for proceedings to kick off in Surhuisterveen.
Getting out of Astana contract "not simple"
Two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador will settle on his squad for the upcoming season in the next week or two, he said today. He has one more year on his contract with Astana, and the team stated today that Contador would not change.
However, the Spanish four-time Grand Tour winner was less definite about his future plans, acknowledging that he was exploring options to move to Caisse d'Epargne, Garmin or to stay with Astana.
"Astana is also an option," he said according to EFE. He pointed out the new direction of the team, where former general manager Johan Bruyneel and much of the staff and riders have been replaced after the mass exodus to Lance Armstrong's RadioShack team.
Contador clashed with Armstrong and Bruyneel over his tactics en route to winning this year's Tour. He refused to respond to Bruyneel's latest statements where he insinuated Contador had become conceited.
There has been much speculation in the press that Contador would leave the team after it failed to meet the UCI's deadline of October 20 to get its racing license application for 2010 in order. By the governing body's rules, Contador should be free to look for another team, but he said it's not so easy.
"I assure you it is not so simple," Contador said. "My future career is being decided right now and I think between this week and next we will clear up many of the doubts that confront us now and many of the unknowns will be clarified."
Contador's concern is if his future team will be able to fully support his goal of defending the Tour de France title. He wants to have his future decided as soon as possible so he can relax.
"That is why my advisers are looking at options, but from one meeting it is not that simple. The process could go on for more than a month, but I cannot face this through December."