Astana Listens to the Voices in Its Head

Cycling News

So Alberto Contador is leaving Astana at the end of 2010. Blah, blah, blah.

Read these next two paragraphs and tell me, am I the only one who sees a massive discrepancy?

“We did all we could for Alberto for three weeks by sacrificing ourselves for him. I only hope that he didn’t take the decision before the start of the Tour,” said Vinokourov. He added that the team had never put pressure on the Spaniard to extend his contract, contradicting Contador’s claims that he’d been given an ultimatum to agree to a new deal by July 27. “Alberto had been pushing for a new contract for four months, and it was he who was pressing to re-sign with us,” Vinokourov stated.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Astana directeur sportif Giuseppe Martinelli admitted he had started to have doubts about Contador’s commitment to the team from the halfway point of the Tour. Martinelli said he thought that the Tour victory might convince Contador to stay with Astana, but added: “Even before the Tour it seemed like the Astana project was over for Contador.”

Vino says, “Oh, it was totally that little pipsqueak Alberto, begging, whining and crying for a new contract, which we, of course, were not certain he was deserving of.”

Vino, how can you say both that you hope Alberto didn’t make his decision before the Tour AND that he was like a gnat in your face with his demands for a new contract?

In one case or the other you’re having an obvious break from reality. No worries, with therapy and medication you’ll be ok and those voices telling you to . . . well, lets not even talk about what they’re telling you. We don’t want to see you locked up or anything like that.

Vino, as we all know, is the self-appointed Godhead of Astana (another sign that perhaps a little time in a therapist’s chair wouldn’t kill the guy). As such he is all knowing and all seeing, at least in his own mind.

But Astana management bigwig, the guy who, at least on paper, trumps Vino, Giuseppe Martinelli, says quite plainly that he sensed long before the Tour that Alberto was sick and tired and hoping to move on.

So this guy (Alberto) who clearly had no interest in hanging around was, just for shiites and grins, relentlessly pestering the team for a new contract.

Makes sense to me.

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