ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s official (and officially one of the worst kept secrets) Ã¢â‚¬â€ after Alberto Contador requested the support of Specialized Bicycles in his bid to win his third Tour de France, the California brand will be the complete bike sponsor for Team Astana in 2010.
In a video conference with Specialized Founder and President, Mike Sinyard, Contador said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am very excited. I want to have the best bike. It is very important to have the best if you want to win the Tour de France. This is why I made it a requirement to have Specialized as the team bike for my return to Astana.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Team Astana, Alberto and Specialized share the same goalÃ¢â‚¬â€to be the best. We are totally committed to supporting Alberto and the rest of the team in their pursuit of another Tour victory,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Specialized Chief Brand Officer, Ben Capron from the companyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Headquarters in Morgan Hill, California. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Winning the Tour has been a dream of ours for many years, but even more important is the opportunity to work with riders like Contador and Vinokourov to help us create the best bikes possible and bring them to riders everywhere.Ã¢â‚¬Â
At the teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s training camp in Pisa, Italy, Team AstanaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s General Manager Yvon Sanquer said, “Even when I worked with Specialized with Team Festina from 1999 to 2001, I could see the professional attitude that animated the company; they never stopped developing and improving the material they supplied to the riders. Since then, Specialized has continued its progression to become the reference point in road bikes.Ã¢â‚¬Â