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Has Riis closed Contador deal?

By:
Cycling News
Published:
August 03, 2010, 7:41 BST,
Updated:
August 03, 2010, 8:49 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Alberto Contador (Astana) celebrates his third Tour win

Alberto Contador (Astana) celebrates his third Tour win

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Post-race comments provide clues about Spaniard's move

With a press conference scheduled today in Copenhagen, Denmark, Bjarne Riis is expected to unveil a new sponsor for his team and a new star rider - rumoured to be Tour de France champion Alberto Contador, whose comments overnight have added fuel to the fire of speculation.

After winning the Profronde van Lommel in Belgium, Contador was approached by a reporter from Belgian sports daily Sporza and asked about his team for next season, which is at the centre of questioning from many quarters.

"I think this week everybody will know which team I will be [on] next year," said Contador. Asked if the name Bjarne Riis would also be associated with that team, he added: "Yes, probably... [it's] a big possibility." Prompted to elaborate whether that was an affirmative, he reiterated that "it's a possibility".

The move would benefit Riis' cause given that hitherto Saxo Bank riders Andy and Fränk Schleck have announced they'll be jumping ship at season's end in search of new challenges at the fledgling Luxembourg outfit initiated by former Riis colleague Kim Andersen.

The addition of the three-time Tour champion to Riis' ranks will also fuel the friendly rivalry that has developed between Andy Schleck and Contador, seen clearly throughout this year's edition of la grande boucle as the pair traded attacks on the roads of France.

Contador's comments add to the speculation that he'll join the experienced Dane's outfit, which has already confirmed US software company SunGard as a sponsor in 2011 and is likely to announce the second major partner during today's media gathering.

Cyclingnews will keep you updated on the latest developments from today's press conference and the destination of Alberto Contador for next season.

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