By Andrew Hood
Alberto Contador spent time this week speaking with Spanish school children about a new book by author Jordi Sierra i Fabra, a collection of stories about the cyclist’s early years and the challenges he’s faced in his career.
The two-time Tour de France champion presented the book aimed at children, “Querer es Poder,” (Where there’s a will, there’s a way) to a group of students Monday, but one story he’d like to conclude is where he will race in 2010.
Contador said everything remains undecided about his home for the upcoming season.
“I’d like to be able to tell you in what team I will race next year, but nothing is decided and I don’t know where I will go,” Contador told journalists at the book signing. “There are various teams interested and we are studying the different offers, but we still have to get out of the contract that ties me to Astana, which doesn’t conclude until December 2010.”
Contador wants to leave Astana, but so far, the Kazakh officials are holding the Spanish climber to the final year of his three-year contract, which does not include a buy-out clause.
Rather than challenge the contract in court, Contador said earlier this month he’d like to reach an amiable agreement with Astana that would allow him to leave the troubled team.
Contador’s work might be done for him, however.
UCI president Pat McQuaid said last week at the world championships that the Astana team is under scrutiny. If financial and legal requirements cannot be met by a looming deadline, McQuaid said Astana could lose its ProTour status.
If Astana is booted out of the ProTour, that might be enough to nullify Contador’s contract, opening the door for him to find a new squad for next season.
The list of would-be suitors is said to be long, including the U.S.-registered Garmin-Slipstream.