Armstrong Signs with Astana & Contador Is Not Happy
By Audrey Nolan
The all-time favorite Tour de France winner, the American Lance Armstrong has announced his comeback to the professional cycling world. Armstrong’s new goal is to pursue a new Tour de France victory and he has already begun talking to the Astana team. Additionally, Armstrong is willing to go through several drug tests to better his performance. The cyclist is aware he will be supporting his team mate, the Spaniard Alberto Contador at the next Tour de France.
Contador’s reaction was not very good once he learnt Armstrong will be joining his team and that it was likely he would be the new team leader at the next Tour de France due to his seniority and experience. Contador has stated he has earned the right to be the Astana team leader and now things will probably change due to Armstrong’s reincorporation to the cycling world.
"I spoke with Johan about the Tour next year and he said there is no problem and that I will be the leader," Contador informed The Associated Press. "But Lance Armstrong is a champion and I think he will want to race to win. I am sure that he also wants to be the leader of the team."
In professional cycling races the team members are the team’s leader backup and they work to make the leader’s course easy to ride with a common goal which is to obtain the victory. The team’s loyalty is also a key aspect in the strategy development to win a race. The Astana team has already reviewed this issue particularly long time before the name of Armstrong was mentioned.
Contador, who is the Spanish Vuelta winner, has been receiving several offers from other professional cycling teams and it is also a possibility that he could leave the team despite the fact; Contador has still a two-year agreement with the Astana group. Contador has repeatedly stated that he is not at ease looking at other options for the moment.
Armstrong’s announcement became public two weeks before his three year retirement anniversary. The seven times Tour de France winner decided to get in contact with the Astana team director Johan Bruyneel in order to discuss a possible return to the professional level of cycling as well as to discuss his physical condition and the chances he could have if he decides to race again. Lance still believes he does have a good opportunity especially if he is helped by a team as Astana.
Astana’s background is quite known by many of us especially due to the doping implications in which team leader Alexander Vinokourov was involved. This situation was very dreadful for the cycling world and the team itself as he tested positive and was eliminated from the race. During the 2008 Tour de France the entire group retired from the Tour and Johan Bruyneel became the new director.
Bruyneel believes Armstrong’s integration will provide the Astana team with the confidence and conviction they require to move forward as well as to have a new beginning.
About the Author
Audrey Nolan is a high-ranking writer on sports for the online betting industry. Feel free to reprint this article in its whole on your site, make sure to leave all links in place and do not modify any of the content.