Teams try to buy Davis
Cycling: A season of great results has proven Bundaberg's Allan Davis can be a key asset to any elite ProTour team.
Yet Davis confirmed to the NewsMail he could be leaving the QuickStep squad.
“Astana and other teams are interested,” Davis told the News Mail exclusively via email.
“I have one more year on contract with QS (QuickStep), that's true, but there is a buy-out clause if needed.”
Rumours that Astana were in negotiations with several riders, including Davis, started circulating on European news websites on Wednesday.
Davis has been one of QuickStep's top riders this year, with overall victory at the Tour Down Under and podium finishes on stages of the Giro (Italian tour) and at several one-day classics including Paris-Brussels.
While Davis did not confirm why he was considering a change of teams, he previously had made it clear he was upset at being withdrawn from the Tour De France at the last minute for Tom Boonen.
“They should have put both of us in and the team knows it as well,” Davis told the NewsMail in July.
Boonen put in a weak Tour, seemingly out-of-form.
The Astana team has current Tour De France champion Alberto Contador under contract, but is undergoing a mass defection of talent led by Lance Armstrong.
Several of its top riders and most of its management have switched to Armstrong's new Radio Shack team, leaving the squad desperate to attract top talent back to its ranks.
The mass exodus is not the only concern, with the return of controversial cyclist Alexandre Vinokourov to the team raising questions about its future.
Vinokourov was serving a suspension for failing doping tests, leading to speculation Astana could be stripped of their ProTour status and miss out on a Tour De France invite if they keep him in their line-up.
There is also speculation about whether Contador is staying with Astana, with several teams trying to buy out his contract or swap cyclists for him.
One of the teams supposedly chasing Contador is QuickStep, which means Davis could be part of a rider transfer.
Other teams interested in Davis have not been confirmed by the rider or European sources.