Contador relaxed about Astana deal

Alberto Contador says he's at ease with his decision to remain with Astana for 2010 and is confident about winning his third Tour.

Alberto Contador said his decision to stay with Astana for 2010 was the best option to allow him to reload for the Tour de France.

Following a tumultuous season with the return of Lance Armstrong, Contador was mulling moving to several teams, but finally settled on staying with Astana after he couldn’t break the final year of his contract.

Astana was given the green light from the UCI to maintain its ProTour license, removing the final hurdle for Contador to stay with the Kazakh-backed team.

Speaking publicly for the first time since the UCI decision, Contador said he’ll make the best of the situation.

“I am happy with the solution because it was time to clarify my future,” Contador said in a statement. “I had already arrived at a preliminary agreement with the team and everything was dependent on the (ProTour) license. In the end, just as we hoped, I will stay with Astana.”

Contador expressed his satisfaction with Astana’s new technical team taking over for the departing Johan Bruyneel and also said he expects the team to be able to help support him come July.

“I believe we’re going to have a good team, perhaps not as potent, above all in terms of name, but I am fully confident in the work we will do and the big motivation we’re going to have for the Tour,” he said. “The key is to know that we’ll be motivated and that we’re on the same page for the same goal. To make a good Tour what’s most important is to prepare in the best manner possible.”

Contador still hasn’t finalized his racing schedule for 2010, but the Tour will be the obvious top goal for the year.

More than anything, he seemed content that the turmoil of 2009 might finally be part of the past.

“Following everything that’s happened the past few months, I think in the end I made the best decision and I can say that I will fight with 100 percent of my ability to win the Tour,” he said. “I realize that everyone else will be prepared for their best and that it will be very difficult, but I will try to win again.”