Alonso-Contador rumours gather pace

Rumours that Fernando Alonso is planning to set up a new Spanish cycling team in 2010 have gathered pace after Spanish rider and Tour de France favourite Alberto Contador refused to rule out racing for his compatriot.

Alonso, who is sponsored by Spain’s largest bank Santander, was present at the start of the Tour de France in Monaco and sports daily Marca claimed that the double world champion is in talks with Contador to set up the new team, which could be backed by Santander.

When asked if there was any truth to the story, Contador told the French press: “For the moment I am concentrated on this race that goes for two more weeks, and under contract with Astana.

“For the future, we will see.”

Alberto Contador is second overall in the Tour de France, six seconds behind yellow jersey holder Rinaldo Nocentini of Italy, but crucially with a two second advantage over Astana teammate and seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong.

The order is unlikely to change today as the riders enter stage 11, which will see them race 119.3 miles from Vatan to Saint-Fargeau.

Alonso meanwhile is widely tipped to sign for Ferrari in 2010 which will be sponsored by Santander.