Is Alberto Contador staying or going? Perhaps his mother knows best.
As cycling fans await the imminent yes or no on whether the UCI will continue Astana’s ProTour status, the news leaks are already happening.
The most surprising news is that Contador’s mother, Paqui Velasco, has taken the unusual and unprecedented step of writing the UCI to ask the board not to approve the Astana license and “set her son free.”
Contents of the letter have not been released but an unnamed source has provided a quick peek at the handwritten note.
“My son Alberto is a good boy. I don’t want him riding his bike with that Mr. Vinokourov who is a bad man and a cheater,” she wrote.
The letter goes on to remind the UCI of the Kazak squad’s financial difficulties. “They didn’t pay his salary for months. He borrowed money from his uncle and I had to make him a sack lunch for races because they didn’t even buy him food.”
Paqui Velasco did not stop there, with several long paragraphs suggesting that her son belonged in a different team and that her son deserved his freedom for the beleaguered Astana team.
“My son belongs in a nice team like Caisse d’Epargne with other Spanish riders. Even Quickstep would be better than those kazak people– Mr. Lefevere has assured me he is half Spanish. I don’t trust that Garmin fellow Vaughters, his sideburns are strange.”
In closing, she questioned the fairness of the situation that her son Alberto finds himself in. “As a mother, I don’t think it’s right Lance Armstrong steals all my son’s teammates. You can’t give a license to a team with nobody on it but my son,” she wrote.
UCI President Pat McQuaid and other board members refused comment on the extraordinary letter, which was apparently hand delivered with a hot pot of Cocido Madrileno, a stew of chickpeas, vegetables and pork.