Contador to Astana

The winner of the 2007 Tour de France, Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador, has joined the Astana team for the next two seasons, his representative said Tuesday.

The winner of the 2007 Tour de France, Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador, has joined the Astana team for the next two seasons, his representative said Tuesday.

"Alberto Contador has reached an agreement with Johan Bruyneel, who will be the general manager of the team, to lead a completely remodelled formation," the representative said in a statement.

Contador, 24, and Bruyneel, 43, were part of the disbanded Discovery Channel team last season.

Astana were forced to withdraw from the Tour de France and were snubbed by the Spanish Vuelta in September after a string of doping scandals.

The team's former leader Alexandre Vinokourov was fired after testing positive for a blood transfusion during the Tour de France, while riders Andrej Kashechkin and Matthias Kessler have also failed doping tests this year.

Contador's representative said the team had undergone many changes and is now headed by France's Alain Gallopin and former Russian rider Viatcheslav Ekimov.

"It is clear that the new Astana has nothing to do with the old team," Contador told Spanish sports daily Marca earlier this month when asked about the possibility that he would join Astana.

© AFP 2007

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