Specialized have not ruled out the possibility that they may supply bicycles to Astana next season. Responding to rumours that the American-based company is set to replace Trek as the Kazakh team's bike sponsor, a representative of Specialized today acknowledged that they could be in a position to support the team.
"I can't say anything on that at the moment," said James Booth from Specialized Marketing UK to Cyclingnews when asked whether the rumours of their possible involvement with the Astana were true. This year, Specialized sponsored ProTour teams Quick Step and Saxo Bank, as well as pro continental team ISD. Booth explained that while Specialized was still under contract with the two ProTour squads for next season, its commitment with ISD comes to an end this year.
"As of January 1, we won't have ISD anymore," he said. "So we have three top level teams at the moment, and if the opportunity comes up and it's the right team, it's entirely possible to sponsor three ProTour teams. There is no [budgetary] reason why it wouldn't be possible, it's just a question of the right teams."
If Tour de France winner Alberto Contador does remain with Astana for one more year, the Kazakh team will remain a highly desirable front for brands to showcase their products.
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