Shorts: Liquigas, Astana 1, Astana 2
Liquigas deny link with one leading Italian rider but are said to be close to another, ‘new’ Astana
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Liquigas team manager Roberto Amadio has denied he’s reached a deal with Ivan Basso to join the team next season. Rumours continue to circulate linking the CSC rider with both Liquigas and Discovery Channel next season. However, Liquigas are reported to be close to agreeing a deal with Quick Step’s Milan-San Remo winner, Filippo Pozzato.
– More details are emerging about the ‘new’ Astana team that is being put together for next season, based around the current Astana team leaders Alexandre Vinokourov and Andrei Kashechkin. Overseen by Swiss agent and manager Marc Biver, the Kazakh-backed team will have a budget of around nine million euros. The team directors will be former pros Alexandre Shefer and Giovanni Fidanza, with Kazakh riders Sergei Yakovlev and Assan Bazayev also on the roster.
As for other riders, T-Mobile’s Andreas Klden, Matthias Kessler, Eddy Mazzoleni and Sergei Ivanov are all being linked with the team, as are Discovery Channel trio Paolo Savoldelli, Guennadi Mikhailov and Benoit Joachim, Gerolsteiner’s Ren Haselbacher and Phonak’s Steve Morabito and Bert Grabsch (Phonak). Although the current Astana team is dominated by Spanish riders, the only one set to join the new Kazakh set-up is Toni Colom (Caisse d’Epargne), although former Phonak rider Santiago Perez is reported to be in talks with them after completing his two-year ban for blood doping.
– While Astana’s Kazakh elements are looking back to their homeland for their new team, nine of the team’s existing riders are heading to court to take action against the Spanish federation for revealing information about them during the Puerto investigation earlier this summer, which led to the Astana team being prevented from starting the Tour de France. The riders taking action are Aitor and Unai Osa, David Etxebarria, Giampaolo Caruso, Isidro Nozal, Joseba Beloki, Javier Ramirez, Allan Davis and Jrg Jaksche. The nine’s legal team believe their human rights have been violated with the alleged release into the public domain of intimate and personal information about them by the Spanish federation.