Former world champion Igor Astarloa is being heavily linked with a return to Lampre, and could be ta
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According to reports in both Spain and Italy, 2003 world champion Igor Astarloa is on the verge of rejoining the Lampre team that released him last season. The deal is also likely to see sponsors moving around as well, with Valsir, sub-sponsor at Astarloa’s current team Barloworld, set to follow the Spaniard to Lampre, who are said to be breaking their link with Caffita, an affiliate of Saeco.
Astarloa, who signed for Cofidis after his Worlds victory and then left the French team for Lampre when Cofidis temporarily withdrew from racing in the early part of 2004, has begun to show signs of his best form since his rainbow jersey win in Canada. Lampre are reported to be interested in him because they want a Classics leader to sit alongside stage race leader Damiano Cunego.
According to El Diario Vasco, the deal is given more legs by the fact that Astarloa rode for Lampre team boss Giuseppe Martinelli earlier in his career and because the Basque has very tight links with Valsir, who are based in Brescia, which happens to be where Martinelli lives. The deal is also said to include another Barloworld rider moving to Lampre.