Pereiro’s press conference

(2006 Tour de France champion Oscar Pereiro, slated to be a super-domestique who would bring both capability and panache to the re-forming Astana team, called a press conference today in Galicia to update the public on the current situation involving his contract.)

Oscar Pereiro acknowledges that he feels close to retiring from cycling

http://www.abc.es/agencias/noticia.asp?noticia=197182

Vigo, December 4 – EFE – The winner of the 2006 Tour de France, Oscar Pererio, announced today in a press conference called for the purpose of reporting a breach of contract by Astana, with whom he had made a commitment last November 12, that it was “very likely” that he would retire from professional cycling.

“The most likely thing is that this would be my goodbye. I’m a very realistic person, so that’s what I think. My representatives are trying to find a way out and are speaking with teams, but right now it’s very difficult because I’ve got a signed contract in force on January 1.

“I couldn’t sign with another club, either, because there would be duplicity of contract, before doing that I would have to break with Astana.”

“I’m fine, calm. If I retire I’ll begin a new life.”

“For the last four months I’d already had it in my mind that this was my last season, although the truth is that the Astana option had givem me back my enthusiasm,” added the cyclist from Galicia.

During his media appearance, the ex-Caisse d’Eparge rider told about how events had transpired since he commited to Astana on November 12.

“On the day following the benefit race that I organized, the directeur sportif of Astana—Giuseppe Martinelli—called to tell me that they had received everything on the part of the UCI and that the medical team had already evaluated the biological passport and that everything was fine,” explained Pereiro.

“From that point, I started to observe a distancing between the two parties because I had no news from them. Then, after several days of uncertainty, Astana’s manager—the Frenchman Yvon Sanquer—called me to see if we could re-negotiate the contract and I told him no, because he had already reduced it by a third,” continued the cyclist.

In addtion, Pererio also revealed that Yvon Sanquer called him again later to communicate that he was getting “a lot of pressure” to break the contract, which is why it would be impossible to pay the amount for which he had signed.

“They told me that they couldn’t meet the budget and that they had rushed to sign me at this price. I tell them that they understand me and that I’m not going to reduce the amount, competing in a foreign country with everything new. My salary was going to be three or four times less that what I got at Caisse d’Epargne.”

“This was Friday of last week. They told me that they were under pressure and that they wouldn’t be able to go forward with the contract. So, I warned them that I had put the matter into the hands of my attorneys, who told me that it was quite defensible because there are numerous facts that demonstrate that there’s an agreement between the two parties,” he added.

Finally, Pereiro made it clear that he will go “the full distance” in this case in order to defend his contract, which is why if Astana, to which he already sent the information yesterday, doesn’t reverse gear in five days, he will end up reporting the team.

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Rift between Pereiro and Astana?

When fans of Contador and Astana learned recently that 2006 Tour de France winner Oscar Pereiro would be riding for Alberto in 2010, the news was received with joy. Today there is cause to worry.

Yesterday the newpaper Voz de Galicia reported this story about a new element of drama in the latest incarnation of the Astana team.

According to the paper from Oscar Pereiro’s native region of Spain, Pereiro’s inclusion as super-domestique in Alberto Contador’s 2010 team is in doubt due to contract issues within the business management of the team.

http://www.lavozdegalicia.es/amarina/2009/12/02/0003_8145940.htm

Oscar says that if Astana doesn’t work out, he’ll retire and “live quietly.” He says he’ll see how things go today and that tomorrow he’ll possibly make a decision.

Voz de Galicia – 12/1/09 – Oscar Pereiro is considering reporting Astana for failure to fulfill his contract. “I signed on the 12th. Giuseppe Martinelli, one of the directors of Astana, called to tell me that it was a done deal,” explained the rider.

But he points out that afterwards he started to notice a strange attitude on the part of what was going to be his new team. “They started to ask me if we could sort out the financial business, that anyway it was necessary to lower the agreed-upon amounts. I don’t understand negotiating after signing,” he commented. “At the moment, there’s no report, but if there’s no agreement, I’ll take it all the way to the end,” he assured.

The rider from Mos noted a “certain distancing” after the team got the ProTour license. “I don’t know why. Nobody from the team has explained the reasons. I’m very calm. Anyway, they’ve signed a contract with me,” he said.

“I wanted to make the signing official, but they were stalling. Then as I started to get hot and bothered, I made contact with a lawyer in order to confirm that everything is correct in the contract. And he told me that, yes, there was nothing missing,” he explained.

“I wouldn’t like to get to the point of reporting it, but I’m not going to give up anything,” he warned. “Tomorrow I’ll see how the day goes and will reflect on it all. What’s likely is that on Thursday I’ll make a decision,” he said.

Not looking for another team

The winner of the 2006 Tour stated that, if his inclusion in Astana is thwarted in the end, he’s not planning other alternatives for continuing in the professional peloton.

“I don’t think I’ll try to sign with another team, I’m not going to look for anything at all. I already thought that this world was pretty disreputable, but this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Topics like this take away your desire to stay in cycling. If there’s no agreement with Astana, I’ll devote myself to something else, to living quietly,” he said.

Pererio, who started his career in Portugal and got his greatest successes with the Swiss team Phonak and with Caisse d’Epargne, already thought about retiring after he abandoned the recent Tour de France.

Poll: Favorite Moments in Tour de France 2009

There were a lot of great moments for Contador in the 2009 Tour. Do you have a favorite?

Vote in our poll, and if your choice is “other,” please tell us about your favorite moment in the comments section.

QuickStep: Contador and four more

The Agence France Presse reports today that QuickStep’s manager Patrick Lefevre is in “constant contact” with Alberto Contador regarding a possible signing for 2010.

Lefevre has said that he has spoken with Contador as recently as last Friday about the possibility of the winner of the Triple Crown and two editions of the Tour de France joining the Belgian team.

At QuickStep, Contador would join forces with Tom Boonen, Sylvain Chavanel, Carlos Barredo, Stijn Devolder and Allan Davis, among others.

According to the report, space has been made in the roster for Alberto to bring with him four other riders of his choice.

Update, September 28 – We asked in a poll which four riders would be the best choices to accompany Contador if he were to sign with QuickStep. Two hundred and forty-seven of you participated, and here’s what you said:

Benjamin Noval, 21%
Jesús Hernandez, 21%
Andreas Klöden, 19%
Ivan Basso, 9%
Dani Navarro, 18%
Cadel Evans, 3%
Other, 9%

Unfortunately, we don’t know all the great ideas contained in 9% of votes in the “other” category.  Hmm, wonder who…

Contador’s Canine Companion

Just for fun, we asked this question last week, and took answers in the form of a poll: Can you guess the breed and name of Alberto Contador’s dog?

Well played, everybody. Here are the results:

Jack Russell Terrier named Pakito – 32%
Saint Bernard named Verbier – 32%
Weimaraner named Tour – 15%
Border Collie named Spectaculo – 12%
Bulldog named Lance – 7%
Dobermann named Attack – 2%

As you see, the most popular answers were Verbier the Saint Bernard and Pakito the Jack Russell Terrier.

After his Stage 15 win at Verbier in Switzerland during this year’s Tour, Alberto posed with a lovely canine hostess – a Saint Bernard – on the winner’s podium and at the start line the next day. And a zippy Jack Russell named Pakito seems like a perfect pet for someone who’s known for bursts of rapid acceleration. But unless you answered Weimaraner, you’re in the dog house!

Alberto actually has a Weimaraner named Tour. It was presented to him as a gift from a television station.

Open thread: Contador at Astana in 2010

As you all know, the scene for 2010 is starting to take shape. Contador stays at Astana along with Vino and others, the rest go somewhere else.

Who goes where, how much of the current team remains, and who is hired to replace them- these are things we’ll soon find out.

It’s unsettled and strange, true. But it is what it is.

A mentally-healthy tactic could be to jump ahead to some fun speculation about Astana next year. Who’s going to make up a team for Contador? Directors, riders, staff…who?

Got any good ideas? Who are the best people in the sport currenlty not under contract? Who do you think would be a perfect DS for Contador?

Introducing Skinny Lizzy

Skinny Lizzy
Skinny Lizzy

Here’s a devoted fan of Contador that you’d probably enjoy meeting. She has a special story.

Lizzy is a fictional girl who went to the Tour de France this year, and unfortunately, got run over by the entire peloton. Each and every rider ran over her, from the leader of the escape to the lanterne rouge. Now she’s totally flat. What a disaster!

But there are certain advantages to being as thin as a sheet of paper…

She’s so skinny now that she can fit into an envelope and travel anywhere in the world. Her new mission: to visit Alberto Contador’s friends and fans all in all parts of the international pueblo de Contador.

Skinny Lizzy left last Saturday to visit Christine and Roger in Paris. She rode with them in the car to Assen, stopping in beautiful Bruges, and is now attending the Vuelta.

You can read about her adventures, and find out how to invite Skinny Lizzy to visit your home at http://skinnylizzy.wordpress.com/ .

Have fun!


@Contador_Notebk

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