Five-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain has denied that a story published in the Spanish press on Monday linking him to Fernando Alonso's new team is true.
The article claimed that Indurain had received an offer from the team to join the management side of the squad currently under construction by the Formula 1 pilot and his manager.
"I haven’t received an offer. That’s not correct," Indurain told Cyclingnews when contacted via telephone.
Sources close to Alonso's team also told Cyclingnews that as far as they knew, although Indurain and Alonso had been friends for a long time, no offer had been made.
There was considerable speculation on the internet about the alleged offer from Alonso's squad but Indurain said he was not aware of the rumours when Cyclingnews contacted him.
Since he retired in 1996, Indurain has never held a managerial position in a team and although he has occasionally put in appearances as a guest of some squads at certain races. The GP Miguel Indurain, a race in Navarre, is held annually in his name and he has worked as a consultant for some newspapers in the past. However he has always preferred to quietly enjoy his life after racing.
Although the rumour mill has been working overtime concerning Alonso's team and possible members of the line-up, so far the only confirmed signing has been Paolo Bettini as sporting manager. The squad is also said to have a sponsor from the Middle East for the next five years, but that story - together with contacts with some top names, including Peter Sagan - has yet to be given any real substance. So, too, are the rumours that the team may take over the Cannondale team to ensure it has a WorldTour licence and so automatic invitation to the 2015 Tour de France.
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Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for Cyclingnews.com, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.
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