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A snow-clad Vincenzo Nibali grins at the Liquigas winter training camp this week
Young Italian admits offer came from Team Sky, but will stay with Liquigas next season
Italy's Vincenzo Nibali dismissed rumours that he will transfer to Omega Pharma-Lotto or Team Sky for 2010. He will finish the last year of his contract with Liquigas-Doimo, as he aims to improve on his seventh place finish at the 2009 Tour de France.
"I had an offer from Sky, but I already have a contract with Liquigas and I want to respect it," said Nibali.
Liquigas-Doimo has four riders for the general classification in Grand Tours: Ivan Basso, Franco Pellizotti, Roman Kreuziger and Nibali. Team Manager Roberto Amadio decided last Monday that Nibali will be one of three leaders at the Tour de France, July 3 to 25, with Basso and Kreuziger. Pellizotti won the mountains classification this year and will race for a stage win.
Nibali, 25, and Kreuziger, 23, led Italy's Liquigas-Doimo at this year's Tour de France and both finished in the top ten. Nibali finished 7:35 behind winner Alberto Contador after three weeks of racing.
Nibali would be an asset to Belgium's Omega Pharma-Lotto after the surprise departure of Cadel Evans to BMC Racing. Evans has twice finished second at the Tour de France with Mark Sergeant's team, but will leave at the end of this year after announced last month that he had bought out the final year of his contract with the Belgian team.
Nibali does not have a buy-out clause in his contract with team Liquigas-Doimo.
"Next year? I have some contacts with other teams," said Nibali. "I would like to race with a foreign team for the first time in my career."
Nibali turned professional with Italy's Fassa Bortolo in 2005. He race with the team for one year before a switch to Liquigas. He finished 18th in his debut at the Tour de France last year.
"The team wants to keep its young riders, Nibali and Kreuziger, they are the key to our future," said Amadio.
Omega Pharma's general manager Sergeant was today unavailable for comment.
Nibali is the second Liquigas rider to be linked with Omega Pharma-Lotto in as many weeks. Last week, Sergeant denied a report that Kreuziger would break his contract with Liquigas to race with the squad next year. The Czech rider also confirmed that he would remain with Liquigas next season.