The post-Tour de France news continues today, with VeloNews reporting that three time Tour champ Alberto Contador and Team Astana were at a contract impasse. That was later followed up with a story at Roadcycling.com that Contador has parted ways with the team that escorted him to victory the last two years.
Apparently, the 27-year old rider and Team Astana were not far apart in their negotiations, but there were some philosophical differences that were preventing them from moving forward. To add insult to injury, Contador informed the team via his press service, not even bothering to call the manager or sponsors himself.
On the open market, Contador is sure to be in line for quite a hefty pay day. But Road Cycling is speculating that he’ll end up Bjarne Riis’ new team, which is believed to be called Team SunGard-Specialized. That makes a lot of sense, as Contador, along with his chief rival Andy Schleck, have been featured prominently in advertising for Specialized bicycles in recent months.
Obviously this is a pretty big shake up in the world of competitive cycling and it comes just three days after the end of the Tour. It’s hard to tell exactly what went on here, but reading the statements from Team Astana, it seems that Alberto blindsided them with move, and seems to be acting in a selfish manner that has become his pattern. He is the most talented cyclist in the world without a doubt, but he is also a huge prima donna, and it shows through regularly. It’ll be interesting to see who joins him on the new team and whether or not he can compete with out the Astana squad around him.
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