It’s funny how things work out, Alberto Contador signs a contract with Specialized bikes for 700,000 euros last week. So will he be riding for one of the teams who ride on Specialized bikes; Quick-Step or Saxo Bank? Ah! Then Quick-Step announces that they will no longer be riding on Specialized, but will be on Eddy Merckx bikes.
Next move Bert signs for Astana for a large wage rise and a possible extension to his contract and it looks like Astana will be on Specialized bikes next year too. It all looked too well organised, Specialized were hedging their bets, get a Tour winner on their bikes and loose Flanders and Roubaix wins and better still push Trek off that top step in Paris after…how many years?
We wont have to wait long to see the fireworks between Contador and his ex team-mate; Armstrong. I use the term “team-mate” loosely as I’m sure Contador and Armstrong wouldn’t use it after their conflict at the Tour. The two will meet in February in the Volta a Algarve; it’s been on the Americans Tour build-up calendar for years, including introducing a time trial just for him. Alberto now also wants to start his season on the Portuguese coast, it probably won’t prove anything that early in the year, but it will make for some interesting photos.
Alberto said this week in “La Gazzetta dello Sport” that he had to buy his own wheels at the Tour.
“SucediÃ³ antes de la contrarreloj de Montecarlo. Para mÃ no habÃa las ruedas mejores. AsÃ que parece imposible, pero me las tuve que comprar yo”.
Basically before the time trial in Montecarlo he didn’t have the best wheels and had to buy his own, Bruyneel didn’t give him the good wheels. This was followed by there being no team car to take him to the time trial in Annecy, they were all being used to ferry Radio Shack VIP’s. Contador was taken in the car of his brother/manager and girlfriend; Macarena. Annecy was close to the funeral!
We will know for sure if Astana gets a Pro-Tour licence tomorrow.
Manuel “Triki” Beltrán will not become the sports councillor in Jaén Town Hall. The executive of the PSOE (Socialist Party) have put the brakes on the move. Triki’s brother; AscensiÃ³n Beltrán is a PP (Conservative Party) councillor and behind his brothers job position. It was said that nepotism was flagrant.
If you had forgotten, Manuel Beltrán was sanctioned for two years when found positive for EPO at the 2008 Tour de France joining the list of positive ex-Armstrong team riders including Heras, Hamilton, Landis…..
Beltran’s demise; should we be happy that another “doper” has been caught?
Or should we feel sad and empty, because a man who was 15 years a pro; the team mate par excellence and who wept openly and without embarrassment when he had to abandon the Vuelta, has ended his career like this?
The wrong way to go out, amigo – but I’d still buy you a beer.
Some more sad news
Sad news to hear of the death of another cyclist due to depression after the suicide of Belgian Dimitri De Fauw.
Basque rider; Agustin Sagasti (now 39 years old) was found by his mother at his house in Munguia (Vizcaya).
Sagasti rode for Euskaltel and won a stage of the Vuelta de la Pais Vasco in 1994, but he had had a difficult life. As a child he suffered from Polio and was advised to cycle for his health, then when he was 24 years old he crashed into a car during a stage of the Tour of the Mining Valleys (Asturias) in 1995.
At first he was in a coma and had many operations on his arm and leg over a year. He received 70 million pesetas compensation for not being able to continue his occupation as a professional cyclist. It must all have been too much.