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Bruyneel downplays Contador’s comment

Former Astana boss Johan Bruyneel dismissed suggestions by Alberto Contador that he didn’t receive the technical support he needed during the 2009 Tour de France.

Earlier this month, Contador raised some eyebrows when he said he was forced to go to a bike shop to buy the time trial wheels he wanted during the 2009 Tour. Bruyneel, speaking to readers during an online chat at El Mundo, said that was rubbish.

“The members of the team, and above all, the leaders of the team, all had the same material,” Bruyneel said. “The truth is I am not sure where this information came from. I can guarantee you that they all had the same material.”

Bruyneel — who left Contador behind at Astana to begin a new team with Lance Armstrong at RadioShack — answered several questions from readers.

Bruyneel confirmed earlier reports that Armstrong will not race the Giro d’Italia and will participate in the Tour of California, which has moved to May on the racing calendar.

Whether Armstrong has what it takes to win the Tour again, Bruyneel said there’s no lack of confidence on Armstrong’s part.

“I don’t know, but I think he can,” Bruyneel said when asked if Armstrong can hang with Contador and Andy Schleck in the Tour next year. “It will be a little easier to beat Schleck than to beat Contador, because the differences to Alberto were bigger. Armstrong believes he will be better in 2010 than in 2009, but he also knows it will be very difficult.”