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By VeloNews Interactive, Copyright AFP2003
Lance Armstrong’s U.S. Postal team has signed Portuguese cyclist José Azevedo to help in the Texan’s quest to win a sixth straight Tour de France next year.
Azevedo, 30, joins U.S. Postal on the week that the American outfit waved goodbye to Spaniard Roberto Heras, who has moved to the new Liberty squad. Heras played a significant role in Armstrong’s phenomenal Tour successes.
U.S. Postal’s latest recruit is looking forward to his new job.
“Lance Armstrong’s going to be trying for his sixth consecutive victory in the Tour, and they’ve hired me to help him achieve that objective,” Azevedo told the A Bola sports daily on Friday.
The Portuguese climber, who finished 26th in this year’s Tour, joins Postal on a three-year contract. He leaves the Portuguese team Milaneza-MSS, whose sporting director, Marcelino Santos, gave him his blessing to leave.
“He deserves this opportunity, which will bring him a lot more than we could ever give him,” said Santos. Preliminary reports suggest that Azevedo was offered a 350,000-euro salary with performance bonuses written into the deal.