Tour de France champion Alberto Contador waves to supporters from a balcony in his home town of Pinto, near Madrid.
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Tour champion hopes for decision within a fortnight
While Astana, Caisse d’Epargne, Garmin, Quick Step and perhaps even Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso duel for Alberto Contador’s signature, recently ousted Spanish national coach Paco Antequera has revealed that he had also been hoping to sign up the two-time Tour de France winner to a new team. Antequera told El Correo he had a couple of sponsors lined up to support a team with Contador as leader and himself as directeur sportif.
“But it’s all come to a halt,” he said. “Alberto has got a year left on his contract with Astana and for the moment the Kazakhs aren’t prepared to rescind it. While this is the case, he won’t sign with me, with Fernando Alonso or with anyone else. We will have to wait and see what will happen next season.”
Antequera had been the Spanish coach until he was relieved of his post in mysterious circumstances earlier this year. Having guided Spanish riders to 13 medals during his 11 years as coach for the road team, he’s now unemployed and looking for a new project – but still unhappy with his treatment by the Spanish federation.
“I’m still waiting for official communication from them,” Antequera revealed. “At the start of the year they told me there wasn’t enough money to renew my contract. So I managed to find a sponsor who would pay me when any championships were taking place, but money can’t have been the reason because they still didn’t want me to continue. Now José Luis de Santos has taken over my role and I still don’t know why they have thrown me out.”
Meanwhile, Alberto Contador has once again said that he would like to get out of his contract with Astana. Speaking during a visit to Belgium for a criterium appearance, Contador said he would like to change team and, “be able to ride the Tour with a team completely at my service. Which one will it be? I don’t know at the moment, but I hope that it will all be sorted out in the next two weeks”.
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