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Jens Voigt signing autographs at the 2010 Interbike show
One-year deal inked, but German won't say with whom
Jens Voigt wouldn't comment on speculation that he will follow the Schleck brothers, Andy and Fränk, to the new Luxembourger team as the German paid a visit to the Interbike trade show in Las Vegas, USA this week. Voigt did confirm his professional future is sealed for another season, but his failure to deny parting ways with Bjarne Riis's squad suggests the 39-year-old will leave the Danish outfit.
"I have signed a contract for one more year, but I can't really tell you," Voigt told Cyclingnews.
Voigt, one of the oldest riders in the professional peloton, admitted he'd gladly sign a three-year contract if one had been offered to him. He was typically candid when addressing the topic of how much longer his extensive career would last.
"I've signed for one more year and then we'll see how it goes from there - we'll take it year by year, you know," he said. "When you're 39 years old it's hard to get a three-year contract.
"I would probably take it, yes," he added when asked if he'd accept a three-year deal. "But I don't want to have this moment where I come to races and get dropped all the time and the young kids go 'hey, listen, we know you have been a good rider but now you're past it'.
"That's why it's easier to take it year-by-year, but I'm still confident that if I want to continue I will be good enough to get a new contract."
Despite winning Volta Ciclista a Catalunya's stage four, Voigt named a day at the Tour de France as his highlight for the 2010 season. "I think when I was climbing up the Col de la Madeleine with Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador on my wheel and we took the yellow jersey off the shoulders of Cadel Evans and gave it to Andy," he said. "That was a good moment because I really suffered like a pig to get out there first.
"I knew I was only there to be a platform for Andy, so not for a second was it about me winning the stage," he said. "I knew from the beginning I just had to suffer like a pig to get out there, then wait for Andy and drill it for as long as I can. That was a good moment, I liked that."
Voigt said he was happy with his season, despite not experiencing the level of individual success he'd hoped to achieve. He held a genuine tone when explaining that team victories are just as satisfying as his own glory.
"Of course, you always have a high expectation of yourself," he said. "You're driven, so obviously you'd like to win more, but I had my win plus some good results like sixth in California and sixth at Paris-Nice.
"At a lot of races, I was part of a winning team like at the Tour of Luxembourg then at the Tour de Suisse, Tour of Denmark," he added. "The Tour de France was also a really good experience. So even if I didn't win those races myself I was part of the winning team and that also makes you really, really happy. It's as satisfying as winning yourself.
"I could easily take the crash out of my year, but no, I think it was a good year," he said. "Okay, I crashed at the Tour, but even that turned out to be a funny story when I had to ride on this little yellow bike. It was like a little kid's bike because there was no spare bike for me - I rode a tiny, yellow kid's bike with toe straps for like 15 or 20 kilometres until I could get on my own spare bike."
A formal announcement of his new team will likely be made next month after Voigt concludes his 2010 season. The German will not represent his homeland at the world championships in Geelong, Australia next week.