The team Leader For Astana Is Named

astanaParis ( – Ending months of speculation regarding who would be the team leader at the 2009 Tour de France, the Astana team of 7-time champion Lance Armstrong and 2007 champion Alberto Contador stated today that Armstrong “without question” will ride for Contador.  “Lance has always said that Alberto Contador is the best stage racer in the world today.  I’ve said it.  Levi (Leipheimer) has said it.  Lance will not attack Alberto in the mountains.  Alberto will be protected the entire race.  And Lance will be the man immediately in front of Alberto blocking the wind,” said Johan Bruyneel, the team’s general manager.  “It doesn’t get any better than that, having a 7-time Tour champion pulling you up mountains.”

Armstrong, who recently had surgery to set a broken collarbone suffered at last month’s Vuelta a Castilla y Leon race in Spain, is already training again on a stationary bike.

At a gala presentation in Paris this evening, Trek, the official bike sponsor of the Astana team, unveiled a revolutionary new bike code-named “Ventoux” that they believe could result in an Astana sweep of the Tour podium.

(photos below)