The 2010 season is barely underway but there’s already speculation about riders moving teams for 2011. La Gazzetta Dello Sport has the rumour mill in full flow already. Here’s the lowdown:
The Schleck brothers are looking at a new team for 2011 and La Gazzetta says they are working with Marc Biver, the dual Luxembourg-Swiss agent. Biver works for IMG and has represented many top riders, he lead the takeover of the Liberty Seguros team and turned it into Astana but he was ejected when the team saw several riders test positive. Anyway, the Schleck brothers want Cancellara with them but the Swiss champ is contracted to Riis until the end of 2011.
La Gazzetta mentions that Contador could link up with the Caisse d’Eparge structure next year, with the sponsor standing down this year – it’s a French savings bank – there would have to be a new sponsor. Spanish banking giant Banco Santander is mentioned but this just seems to be a reheared rumour. Santander has the money and Contador is the most bankable rider, he’s worth millions for July alone, so it could work but there doesn’t seem to be anything new in this story. Playing fantasy cycling, the Italian paper also speculates that the US manufacturer Specialized, currently sponsoring Astana and Saxo could back the new superteam, combining Saxo and Astana into a “dream team”.
Finally, Liquigas’s Franco Pellizotti, he of the Euro-perm, could be off to Lampre. We’ll see about this, especially since the Lampre team are struggling to get their paperwork in order. They’ve only been granted a temporary Pro Tour licence, this runs out at the end of the month.