Addressing speculation about his future, Spaniard Alberto Contador confirmed that he is staying with his Team Astana for the 2009 season despite American Lance Armstrong's return to professional racing with the Astana squad. Contador had previously indicated that he had some doubts about how Armstrong's joining the team might affect his own goals for 2009.
Contador reiterated his intentions in an interview Saturday with AFP. "I have analyzed the situation and my alternatives and after a meeting with my director Johan Bruyneel to discuss what's happened in recent months and what has been published in the media, we have dismissed any tensions between us."
"I believe that things will be better than when I first looked at the situation," said Contator. "If we each stick to our schedule, there will be no problems. It's a pleasure to find myself on the same team as a rider I have always admired."
Looking forward to the Tour de France, to which the Astana team was not invited in 2008, he predicted that the team would be well managed and there would be no problems. Armstrong won the French Grand Tour a record seven times before retiring in 2005.
Armstrong recently announced his intentions to compete in the Giro d'Italia. He is not scheduled to attend next week's 2009 Tour de France presentation, where many favorites to win the 2009 edition, including Contador, will be present.