Stangelj alongside with Contador

    • Filled in News in English 19 Ноябрь 2009 в 12:33, author: KazakhNeRider
    • Views: 9 353.

    Stangelj alongside with Contador

    by Rajko Petek

    Slovene cyclist Gorazd Štangelj will be competing for team Astana next season. He signed a one-year contract with the team who is expecting to get the Pro Tour license.

    "That's true, I signed a one-year commitment a day prior to the Giro di Lombardia. What forced me to do so was the behaviour of my team that again waited till the last moment to give me an option to extend the contract. They then brought me the contract, but it was just because they've heard that I have a number of other offers. But I told them that this time, I'm determined not to stay. Now everyone is offended, but that's tipical for this kind of deals. That's how it is. I'm sorry that I must leave, but I'm still happy that I decided to join Astana," so the first comments of the most experienced Slovene professional cyclist.

    It is thanks to Guiseppe Martinelli that Štangelj joined Astana. This year, he led the team Amica Chips, and he was also head of Mercatore Uno in the times of Marco Pantani. Next to him, the teams' sports director will be Guido Bentempi, who has worked with Martinelli at Saeco and Lampre. "I know nothing about how it will be in future. I think, getting the Pro Tour license now should not be a problem. Getting the license is a requirement that Contador will stay in the team. The main thing is to have a captain, so you know what you are racing for. To me, that's an excellent motivation. The team leadership signed a French manager. They had very little time and I think they worked it all out. I think the team headquarters will move to Regio Emilia, home of sports director Shefr," so Štangelj.

    Originally, Štangelj was in talks with Team Sky as well. "Indeed, in Mendrisio I talked to Scott Sunderland, with whom I've raced a few years ago. But, as soon as I saw that the Astana deal will work out, I stopped all the other negotiations," concludes Štangelj. Next season, the cyclists at Astana will be riding Specialized bikes, just like Saxo Bank and QuickStep did this year.

    The leadership of Astana, that will be managed by Yvon Sanquer, is confident that the team can fulfill all the requirements for the Pro Tour license. Until today, they had to inform the commission about the sponsors and the cyclists that will be in the team next year. Next to a couple of Kazakh cyclists, thtere will be: Alberto Contador, Alexander Vinokourov, Haimar Zubeldia, Benjamin Noval, Paolo Tiralongo, David De La Fuente and Gorazd Štangelj. Enrico Gasparotto and Giampaolo Caruso are close to an agreement. The decision whether Astana will get the license or not, will be made public in the next weeks.

    Professional teams Gorazd Štangelj has been racing for so far:

    (1997 – 1998) – Krka
    (1999) – Mobilvetta-Northware
    (2000 – 2001) – Liquigas-Pata
    (2002 – 2003) – Fassa Bortolo
    (2004) – Saeco
    (2005 – 2007) – Lampre-Fondital
    (2008 – second part of the season - 2009) – Liquigas

    by Rajko Petek

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