Astana's Chechu Rubiera Cancels Retirement
Re-signs with Team Astana. Longing for the good old Lance Armstrong days?
José Luis “Chechu” Rubiera, a twenty-time Grand Tour finisher, has signed a one-year contract extension with the Astana pro cycling team. Rubiera, who earlier this month announced plans to retire after this season, according to the team performed so strong this season, that he reconsidered his retirement. Interestingly happenings in the month of September has caused him to change his mind. The Asturian rider is one of the strongholders of the Astana Cycling Team. In 2000 Rubiera (35) joined Johan Bruyneel's US Postal Service Team. Rubiera is best known for being Lance Armstrong's mountain lieutenant for five Tour de France victories, but has also achieved individual success with two stage victories in the Giro d’Italia, two top ten finishes in the Giro, as well as the Vuelta and rode six times the Tour the France.
“After 14 years as a professional rider, I thought that 2008 would be my last year, especially with poor performances in 2007”, explains Chechu Rubiera. “After a successful season with Team Astana, I have decided to continue racing for another season. The Team has a great atmosphere and I find it hard to leave this new family and am grateful that I have been given another opportunity to race for Kazakhstan and Johan. What convinced me as well was the support I got from the fans the last months. It is incredible how they seem to like me."
“I am very glad that Chechu decided to continue”, commented Astana team manager Johan Bruyneel. “Chechu proved this year that he is important for the Kazakh sponsored team. In Murcia he even won a stage. Chechu is not used. On the contrary. We need him as a Team Captain. His role is to guide the Team on the road and to share his experience with all young riders of our Team.”
So far the Team Astana 2009 roster features:
Assan Bazayev, Jani Brajkovic, Alberto Contador, Chris Horner, Maxim Iglinskiy, Roman Kireyev, Andreas Klöden, Berik Kupeshov, Levi Leipheimer, Steve Morabito, Dmitriy Muravyev, Daniel Navarro, Benjamín Noval, Sérgio Paulinho, Gregory Rast, José Luis Rubiera, Michael Schär, Tomas Vaitkus, Andrey Zeits, Haimar Zubeldia.
Will the name Lance Armstrong be added to this list next week? Stay tuned to Roadcycling.com to find out!