Spanish Grand Tour star Alberto Contador will head to Trek-Segafredo on a one-year contract, say sources close to the rider
Contador is the most complete grand tour cyclist currently racing with seven grand tour wins: the 2008 and 2015 Giro d’Italia, the 2008, 2012 and 2014 Vuelta, and the 2007 and 2009 Tour. He is racing in the Tour this month after last year finishing fifth overall behind Sky’s Chris Froome.
His contract with Tinkoff ends this year, but he would be unable to continue as the team is due to close. Its other star rider, world champion Peter Sagan will head to German team Bora-Argon 18. Contador rode for the team Tinkoff/Saxo Bank for the last six years.
Cycling Weekly learned that Contador will join with long-time helper Jesús Hernández, sports director Stephen De Jongh and mechanic Faustino Muñoz Cambron. Former cyclist and Tinkoff’s new sports director, Ivan Basso could also join the American WorldTour team managed by Italian Luca Guercilena.
Guercilena would not comment on the existence of a new contract with Contador. UCI rules would prohibit him to do so as riders may not officially sign rider for the new season until August 1.
Classics rider John Degenkolb, the German winner of the 2015 Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix, will also join Trek-Segafredo from Giant-Alpecin, say sources. He will lead the classics team after Fabian Cancellara retires.
Contador and his agent, his brother Francisco, pushed for a two-year deal with Trek-Segafredo, but sources say the team only offered the 33-year-old from Madrid outskirts a one-year contract.
In the last week, Contador reportedly contacted Astana to re-join the team, but a separate source said it will not happen as Astana does not have the money and wants Fabio Aru to lead its 2017 grand tour team. Vincenzo Nibali will leave Astana to join a new team from Bahrain.
Watch: Pro bikes – Alberto Contador’s Specialized
Contador’s contract value is unknown, but he should pull in around €2 to €3 million in his final year. Trek, the bicycle he used for his two Tour wins with Discovery Channel and Astana, should help make the deal happen.
Contador is currently riding in the Tour de France, where is he positioned in 25th place overall after five stages. He suffered several injuries in two crashes during the opening stages, and lost time during the race’s first mountain test on Wednesday.