Specialized renews deal with Astana

American bike manufacturer to sponsor three teams next year

The Specialized bike brand has reached a new sponsorship agreement for one more year with Astana, the squad has announced. The American bike manufacturer will continue to provide equipment for the Kazakh team, including Alexander Vinokourov and Czech newcomer Roman Kreuziger, throughout next season.

Specialized has also committed to support the Espoir and Junior teams of the Kazakh cycling project.

The move indicates that Specialized will be supplying at least two high-profile teams next year with Bjarne Riis' Saxo Bank-SunGard also working on Specialized bikes as they have this year.

The bike supplier switched from supporting QuickStep in 2009 to Astana and Saxo Bank this year, eager to see the world's best stage racers Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck showcasing their bikes. With Contador possibly facing a doping suspension and Schleck off to the new Luxembourg team, Specialized back-pedalled on its initial decision to leave Astana, according to L'Equipe.

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