Spaniard Patxi Vila has started to prepare for a return to professional cycling and has confirmed that he has spoken to a number of teams, including Astana and his former team, Lampre.
Vila, 34, recently completed an 18-month suspension for the use of testosterone and is now free to return to the professional peloton. He told Spanish newspaper Diario de Navarro that he has been in contact with newly-appointed Astana directeur sportif Giuseppe Martinelli about the possibility of a return with the Kazakh squad.
"He said he had to speak with Contador and see if there are any issues after the problems I've had," Vila told the newspaper.
Vila indicated that he also explored the possibility of a return to the Italian squad Lampre, where he rode from 2003 until his positive test in March, 2008. Still, he acknowledged that he will have to take a patient approach to his comeback.
"They could take me to race the Giro d'Italia, but April would be the best-case scenario for a return with the team," he said. "I know it will not be easy to go back and compete in a big squad. Maybe the first year I will go to a more modest team in the same way [Alessandro] Petacchi did [with LPR Brakes – ed.] before his move to Lampre."
Vila also spoke to Spanish ProTour squads Caisse d'Epargne and Euskaltel-Euskadi, but both responded by saying they had completed their rosters for 2010. He is currently waiting to hear back from Spanish Pro Continental teams Xacobeo-Galicia, Andalucia-Cajasur and Italy's Carmioro - A Style.
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