The Lampre-Farnese Vini team has confirmed to Cyclingnews that it is considering signing Andrey Kaschechkin after the Kazakhstan rider approached the Italian team in an attempt to ride next month’s Tour de France.
According to a report in the Basque newspaper Dario Vasco, Kaschechkin has a personal sponsor that could cover his contract cost. It is not know if Kaschechkin has approached other teams perhaps looking for extra funding.
Kaschechkin has not raced since testing positive for blood doping a few days after the 2007 Tour de France. During the race his Astana teammate Alexandre Vinokourov also tested positive for blood doping and the whole team pulled out of the Tour. Kaschechkin announced his retirement from cycling but was still banned for two years by the UCI. His ban ended on August 7, 2009.
The 30 year-old Kazakhstani rider had hoped to ride with Vinokourov at Astana in 2009 but only rode the world championships in Mendrisio with the Kazakhistan national team, finishing 25th in the men's time trial.
Kaschechkin hopes to ride the Tour de France after race organisers ASO made no moves to stop Vinokourov competing in this year’s race alongside Alberto Contador in the Astana team. However he was not on the long-list of riders submitted by each team for pre-race anti-doping tests and so a ride in the Tour de France seems unlikely.
Diario Vasco suggested that Kaschechkin would try to ride the Vuelta Espana if he is unable to ride the Tour de France. Kaschechkin finished second in the best young rider competition in the 2005 Tour de France and finished third in the 2006 Vuelta, behind Vinokourov and Alejandro Valverde and the 2007 Dauphine Libere.