Alberto Contador will stay with the Astana squad until his contract expires at the end of 2010, according to the Kazakh Cycling Federation.

The Spanish Tour de France winner has been at the centre of speculation about a move away from the Kazakh squad for weeks, and has been linked with several other ProTour squads, including Caisse d’Epargne and Garmin-Slipstream.

However, news agency Associated Press are reporting that Kazakh Cycling Federation deputy president Nikolai Proskurin has stated: “We have absolutely no problems with Alberto Contador, and he will compete with Astana next season.”

Asked whether Contador will stay or go, Proskurin added: “Certain people, it is unclear who, have completely dreamed this up, but there has been no occasion on which he has made an official statement on this issue.”

Speaking to Spanish paper MARCA two weeks ago, Contador said that his continuation with Astana in 2010 hinges on whether the team manages to retain its ProTour license. “Depending on what happens,” Contador said. “I’ll either fulfill my contract with Astana until the end of 2010, or I’ll quit.”

Astana’s troubles over?
Astana has suffered from financial troubles throughout the 2009 season, compounded by a rider protest during the Giro d’Italia in May where the riders wore blanked-out jersey with sponsors’ names removed, and the subsequent mass departure of a significant portion of the squad to Lance Armstrong’s new US-based Radio Shack team.

Armstrong rode for Astana during 2009, but did not draw a wage – instead funding himself from personal sponsorship. The internal rivallry between Armstrong and Contador at this year’s Tour de France has been well documented.

Earlier in October, Astana announced a three-year sponsorship deal from a Kazakhstan state holding company, which should be enough to satisfy the Union Cycliste Internationale’s (UCI) demands that the team has adequate funding in place to retain its ProTour license. However, no decision has come from the UCI as yet.

Contador finished the 2009 season at the top of the UCI’s rider rankings after winning the Tour de France.

Related links
Astana secures three-year sponsorship deal
Contador says Caisse d’Epargne most likely team for 2010
Contador finishes at top of UCI ranking

  • Ken Evans

    Are they going to pay the riders now ?

  • borat

    This was on bloomberg early doors. The story seems to be based upon the words of Proskurin and he like any policitian is talking it up rather than stating fact.

    I doubt very much that Contador will stay.

  • Martin Smith

    the astana story is getting really tawdry, from the funding fiasco to armstrong’s terrible treatment of contador this summer to vino coming back as if nothing happened and now this…
    … i’m getting bored of it all and actually feel sorry for contador. the worst of all outcomes is if he finds himself unable to compete and kick arrogant armstrong’s butt in the tour this year

  • neil duerden

    If the report is correct then in all likelihood Contador will not be able to defend his title next year-as Astana will push for Vino to be in the starting line-up&TdF organisers will bar Astana.
    Maybe at that point Contador could extract himself from his contract & ride for another team.Whatever-Astana with Vino back have zero credibilty&his presence will unjustly affect others ability to participate in the TdF

  • fred

    why report it if it’s only speculation and not confirmed. kinda cheesey. anyone can make up rumours or write about rumours and post if that is the case.

  • John Calliott

    Guess I can say whatever I want since you guys never print my comments anyway. This AP story is all over the Internet. It’s possible that Contador really did decide to stay. But the quote about people making up the stories about him wanting to leave, and his never having made an “official statement” is a joke. There are the quotes in three months of magazine articles, the quotes after the weekend crits and the Velo d’Or Award, plus press items on Alberto’s web page, which is run by Fran Contador, his brother and manager.
    5:17 AM Central Time Thursday 10/29

  • Peter

    I doubt it very much.