By Brecht Decaluwé in Saint-Malo, France
Rumours that Silence-Lotto's director sportif Hendrik Redant will move to Tinkoff Credit Systems next year are premature, according to the Belgian. Redant said his squad is focusing on winning the Tour de France with Cadel Evans for now, and any transfers - be they with riders or staff - wouldn't be discussed.
"Well, everybody asks me about that this morning," Redant laughed. "I've also read about it in the newspaper, but up until now there's nothing official about that. So, as we agreed within this team we wouldn't be discussing any transfers during the Tour and I'm going to keep that."
The Belgian sports director did confirm that he's free to talk with other squads. He brushed aside any talk about where he might go if he were to change squads next season.
"Nothing has been signed," he said. "But I'm free to talk with whoever wants to put an offer on the table since I'm at the end of my term in this team. In the newspaper it seemed as if it was already certain that I would be moving over to them, but only time can tell."
Redant said his main focus at the moment is securing the Tour victory with Evans. The Australian rider finished runner-up in last year's Tour to Alberto Contador and is determined to go one better this year.
"Anyway, I'm not super busy with that right now, although it is in the back of my head," he added. "You see, if you have been working towards a goal [Tour de France victory with Cadel Evans] for four years in a row, then you keep going for that.
"I feel it would be very sad if that was put into a corner, also because I've put a lot of energy into it myself," he added. "Besides, it's a great feature on your curriculum."
Redant laughed as he daydreamed about all the teams that would be trying to lure a Tour-winning directeur sportif in their cars. Tinkoff Credit Systems has spent big money lately, signing Quick Step rider Gert Steegmans and is reportedly in talks with Liquigas' Filippo Pozzato.
While Tinkoff Credit Systems owner Oleg Tinkoff is used to talking big numbers, astronomical amounts relating to a possible Redant deal are believed to be overstated. Redant also added that he's keeping his options open regarding his future for now.
"I read in the newspaper that it was 30 million! Well, if it is 10 million, then it is already good enough for me," laughed the sturdy Belgian. "The Russians seem to be super rich, but I'm pretty sure there are super rich Americans and super rich Belgians as well.
"We'll see if it's true when we're up to it," he added. "I think you need to see everything in its proportion."