Alberto Contador to leave Astana

Tour winner could side with Bjarne Riis

Tour de France winner Alberto Contador will leave Astana at the end of this season after he rejected the team's offer to extend his contract, the Spaniard's spokesman announced on Wednesday.

Contador "wants to have time to calmly explore all the possibilities available to him during the coming season and no option has so far been excluded," Jacinto Vidarte said in a statement.

According to a report on Cyclingnews.com, Contador may join Bjarne Riis's team, which will be sponsored by Sunguard and Specialized. Riis is looking for a replacement for the Schleck brothers, who will depart his squad at the end of the year.

During his three seasons with Astana, the 27-year-old Contador won a Giro d'Italia and Spanish Vuelta title as well as two of his three Tour de France titles.

Contador, the winner in 2007 and 2009, pulled on his third Tour de France yellow jersey on Sunday after the 20th and final stage of cycling's premier event.

Contador is the ninth cyclist to win the Tour de France at least three times.

© AFP & BikeRadar 2010

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