By Susan Westemeyer
Austrian climber Peter Luttenberger has responded to a story that appeared last week on Cyclingnews
that stated that he was having difficulties finding a contract for the coming year, based on his demands for salary and extras.
"Actually, I was ready to retire after the World's in Austria last September, but there were a few teams who wanted to know how much it would cost to bring me to their teams," he told Cyclingnews. "I told them I was open to offers, but the team must be on a certain level, or the management must have the 'will' to bring it to a good international level. An international race program and a right salary are the fundamentals for me to be motivated in my 13th year as a pro cyclist."
Noting that one of his demands had been to fly to races and not to drive, he said, "The fact that you can't do an international race program 'by car' is pretty obvious."
"I have been in many teams in many countries, speak six languages and know everything about cycling. Not only riders but also management could profit from my experience. It would be a new motivation and fun to bring this knowledge to a motivated new team and help them to bring it to a higher international level, but I will not do it for free."
"Cycling is a very demanding sport, not only for the rider himself, but also the whole family has to sacrifice a lot, and so I am not ashamed to ask for the right salary," he said.
Luttenberger believes his prospects look good. "Team managers have told me they will try to find some extra sponsors to pay my salary. Right now I am on 'stand-by’, but an answer should come in the next few days."