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Evans extends with Silence; rumors fly around Sastre’s future

Cadel Evans is staying put, but rumors are flying that Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre might be lured away from CSC-Saxo Bank. Silence-Lotto announced Wednesday that Evans, runner-up in the past two editions of the Tour, penned a two-year contract extension with the Belgian team through the 2010 season. “Silence-Lotto proudly announces that Cadel Evans has signed a contract for the next two seasons. This agreement is proof of his confidence in the Silence-Lotto team,” a press release said. “Next season the Tour the France will be the main goal for Cadel Evans.”

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By Andrew Hood

Cadel Evans is staying put, but rumors are flying that Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre might be lured away from CSC-Saxo Bank.

Silence-Lotto announced Wednesday that Evans, runner-up in the past two editions of the Tour, penned a two-year contract extension with the Belgian team through the 2010 season.

“Silence-Lotto proudly announces that Cadel Evans has signed a contract for the next two seasons. This agreement is proof of his confidence in the Silence-Lotto team,” a press release said. “Next season the Tour the France will be the main goal for Cadel Evans.”

The announcement slams shut rumors that Evans was unsatisfied with how the team rode during the 2008 Tour and was considering offers to move elsewhere.

The Australian was often left unprotected during this year’s Tour as the classics-heavy team seemed to struggle with how to tactically handle a three-week tour.

Sastre, meanwhile, was forced to make a public statement in an effort to tamp down a swirling rumor mill that had him leaving his longtime home at CSC, which he joined in 2002.

The Tour champion issued a statement reiterating that he’s under contract with CSC through the end of 2008, but refused to comment on his future.

“My only worry right now is focusing on the Vuelta, which, after the Tour, remains one of my biggest objectives of the season,” Sastre said on his web page. “I will not comment, nor deny or ratify any rumor about my future that is circulating in the media. When the time comes and once I make a firm decision about my future, I will report it fully for all the media in a press release.”

Some media reports linked Sastre to four teams, including a new Swiss-sponsored team allegedly in the works and the newly bolstered Russian team Katoucha, which is boasting a budget of 30 million euros.