Lance Armstrong & Alberto Contador will train together in Tenerife! Team Astana in Tenerife this November!
Alberto Contador, winner of this season’s Giro de Italia and Vuelta a EspaÃ±a confirmed his continuation with team Astana next season alongside his American team mate Lance Armstrong. Contador assured that the Astana team will prepare in Tenerife at the end of November 2008.
“I’ve been analysing the diferent situations and thinking about alternatives since half way through the Vuelta and after meeting with my director, Johan Bruyneel, and having spoken of the last few months, we have resolved whatever type of tension between us”, said Contador.
“We have already spoken about what my schedule will be in the next season and consequently, I can affirm that I will be in team Astana next year”, added the spanish rider. “I have taken the decision to keep going because I think that it’s more certain, since I can count on a great group of trusting men around me who have done their best with me in each race and that should permit me to keep fighting for victory with the best guarantee”, explained Contador.
The arrival of Armstrong has been the main cause of friction. “I think that everything is going to perform much better than what it appeared to in the beginning. If each one of have our own agenda there won’t be any type of problem or inconvenience. For me it’s a pleasure to coincide within the same team as a great racer who I’ve always admired”, he said. “It’s also true that I am ambitious and when he established that he wanted to win his 8th tour, I thought that co-existence would be complicated, but I think that with a good team management there won’t be problems in France. For the rest of the year, it doesn’t inconvenience me”, he continued.
Alberto Contador is still finalysing his race calendar for the next season. What seems decided is that he will race the Tour in the biggest three weejs. “My idea is to race only in the Tour at 100%, because this year it’s hard for me to recover from the strength of the Giro and the Vuelta”, he assured. Contador still hasn’t spoken directly with Armstrong. “We have a training camp in Tenerife at the end of November and there we will speak with our directors to avoid any type of arguments, because perhaps there has been an excessive expectation with all this, even though it is understandable”, he said.
“He estado analizando las diferentes situaciones y alternativas planteadas desde mediados de la Vuelta a EspaÃ±a y, tras reunirme con mi director, Johan Bruyneel, y de haber hablado de lo sucedido estos Ãºltimos meses hemos resuelto cualquier tipo de tensiÃ³n entre nosotros”, dijo Contador.
“Ya hemos hablado de cuÃ¡l serÃ¡ mi calendario en la prÃ³xima temporada y, como consecuencia, puedo afirmar que el aÃ±o prÃ³ximo seguirÃ© en el equipo Astana”, aÃ±adiÃ³ el corredor espaÃ±ol. “He tomado la decisiÃ³n de seguir porque creo que es lo mÃ¡s acertado, ya que aquÃ cuento con un gran grupo de hombres de confianza a mÃ alrededor, que se han volcado conmigo en cada carrera y esto debe permitirme seguir luchando por las victorias con las mejores garantÃas”, explicÃ³ Contador en su comunicado.
“Creo que todo se va a desarrollar mucho mejor de lo que parecÃa en un principio. Si cada uno hacemos nuestro calendario no habrÃ¡ ningÃºn tipo de problema ni inconveniente. Para mÃ es un placer coincidir en el mismo equipo con un corredor que siempre he admirado”, dijo el madrileÃ±o. “TambiÃ©n es cierto que soy ambicioso y cuando se planteÃ³ que querÃa ganar su octavo Tour, pensÃ© que serÃa complicada la coexistencia, pero creo que con una buena direcciÃ³n del equipo no habrÃ¡ problemas en Francia. En cuanto al resto del aÃ±o, no tengo ningÃºn inconveniente”, siguiÃ³.
Alberto Contador todavÃa estÃ¡ cerrando su calendario de pruebas para la prÃ³xima temporada. Lo que parece decidido es que sÃ³lo correrÃ¡ el Tour de entre las grandes de tres semanas. “Mi idea es correr sÃ³lo el Tour al cien por cien, porque este aÃ±o me estÃ¡ costando recuperarme del esfuerzo del Giro y la Vuelta”, asegurÃ³. Contador todavÃa no ha hablado directamente con Armstrong. “Tenemos prevista una concentraciÃ³n en Tenerife a finales de noviembre y allÃ hablaremos con nuestros directores para evitar cualquier tipo de polÃ©micas, porque quizÃ¡s ha habido excesiva expectaciÃ³n con todo esto, aunque es comprensible”, dijo.
Meanwhile, Armstrong said:
â€œWhile there has been a fair bit of tension and numerous disagreements with the Tour and its organizers, I am well aware that there is new leadership at ASO and I look forward to upcoming conversations and to a mutually beneficial future together. Whether it’s promoting the Livestrong global cancer campaign or making the biggest bike race in the world the gem that it deserves to be, I look forward to next year. I would also like to recognize the UCI and commend them for their aggressive stance against doping, a stance that is unmatched in all of world sport.â€
â€œLastly, as to the leadership of the Astana team in 2009. It is illogical to pre-select a leader for any race in October of the previous year. We are blessed at Astana to have the strongest team in the world and I look forward to riding with all of these great riders. I have been around long enough to know that cycling is a team sport and I am fully committed to supporting the strongest rider in any race. Whether that’s me, Alberto Contador, Levi Leipheimer, or Andreas Kloden.â€
“We’ll abide by the same code that I do: cycling is team sport, while we’d all like to win,” he said.
“If you’ve been away for three or four years, it would be silly for anybody to think I could pick up where I left off,” Armstrong told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Tenerife in the Canary Islands where Astana is training. “I can tell you I feel better than ever, I feel stronger than ever on Dec. 1. How that translates to racing, we’ll have to see. Mentally, in terms of motivation, this feels like 1998-1999 to me.”
The Astana team enjoyed a surfing lesson with K16 Surf School after their first bike training session. Where else in Europe can you go ride to 2300m and then surf on the same day at this time of year, eh?