By Andrew Hood
Alberto Contador doesn’t want to stay at Astana even if Lance Armstrong won’t be around next season.
According to a report in Thursday’s L’Equipe, the two-time Tour de France winner has turned down a multi-million-euro contract extension and is trying to break his remaining year that he has with the Kazakh-backed team.
“Alberto has experienced a season that was psychologically very difficult and now we have to watch out for his future and his tranquility,” said Fran, Contador’s brother and manager, in the French sports daily. “We have nothing against the Kazakhs, but now we have to think about Alberto. Things are too complicated that we can carry on like this. We have to look for a solution with the year’s contract remaining with Alberto.”
Contador turned down a four-year offer worth 4 million Euros per season that would have included his remaining year under his current contract and three more seasons through 2013.
Despite the departure of Armstrong and team boss Johan Bruyneel, who are leaving Astana to form a new team sponsored by RadioShack, Contador wants to turn the page on his turbulent two-year run with Astana.
The imminent return of Alexander Vinokourov from a two-year suspension for blood doping during the 2007 Tour is prompting Contador to look for other options as he considers his future.
According to the Spanish wire service EFE, Contador is looking for a way out of his remaining year with the Kazakh-backed outfit so he can join a new team for 2010.
They reported that sources say Contador has offers from Caisse d’Epargne and Garmin-Slipstream.