The speculation on reigning Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre’s new team contract for 2009 has jumped from the new Russian team Katusha, over to Cervélo’s TestTeam, and across to Garmin-Chipotle, sources have said. But the Spaniard has denied both the Katusha and Cervélo TestTeam connections, and has stated he’ll let everyone know in an official statement when he’s ready.
The 33-year-old was reported to have signed a two-year deal with Katusha, who have also recently snapped up Australian Robbie McEwen, Belgian Gert Steegmans, Italian Filippo Pozzato, and Russian Vladimir Karpets. Sastre denied this claim following Stage 5 of the Vuelta Wednesday. Then another source said Sastre was joining the Cervélo TestTeam, who recently announced its formation last week. Initially, the statement from Cervélo TestTeam owner Gerard Vroomen included Sastre as a speculative addition, then asked for the statement to be retracted.
Sastre, a climber, became the third consecutive Spaniard to win the Tour de France in July, after Alberto Contador (2007) and Oscar Pereiro (2006).
Katusha is linked to Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov, and enjoys the backing of sponsors including energy giant Gazprom and energy and real estate company Itera.
© BikeRadar & AFP 2008