Igor Antón is back on the market after yesterday's news of the deal between Fernando Alonso and Euskaltel collapsing.
The ace climber, who only last week went public on regional television that he was happy to stay with the team into 2014 and beyond, is one of the lucky few on the team that will have no trouble finding a ride for next year. Prior to the news in early September that Alonso intended to buy the team's license, Antón was close to signing with Belgian powerhouse team Omega Pharma-QuickStep.
Three weeks on, he can only hope there's still interest on Patrick Lefevere's part.
"Now we have to pick up the negotiations we put to rest when we thought the team was going to continue", he tells Cobbles&Hills. "I think I had several options earlier, but I realize it might not be that easy now.
"Hopefully Omega Pharma-QuickStep will come calling. It's a team I've always liked, and it's a team of the highest standard - they showed that in Sunday's team time trial in Florence. I'm fond of that team, and they'll attack the three-week races with the signing of Rigoberto Urán. I could fit in there. Time will tell if they're still interested and if they've got a spot open for me".
Realizing the cycling 'transfer market' has been in full swing for almost two months already, the Galdakano native isn't demanding too much from his potential suitors.
"Having to find a team now is bad for me, and I'm aware it won't be like three weeks ago. What I'm hoping to find is a place on a WorldTour team. It it's a one-year contract, that's fine. Stay in the WorldTour, a transitional year, and then show I'm worthy of a longer contract.
"I still don't know where I'll end up, but I'm not asking for more than 12 months to show what I've got".