Fernando Alonso has revealed that he is ready to take his enjoyment of cycling to a new level, by starting his own team with an eye to it contesting the Tour de France in future years.
The Spaniard, like many of his countryman, is a fan of the sport and enjoyed the atmosphere of the Tour de France when it passed through Monaco on its way to Sunday's Champs Elysees finish, and now admits that he is preparing to take his interest further.
“Cycling is a sport that I enjoy and, yes, I'd like to start a team," he told Radio Monte Carlo
during the Hungarian GP weekend, before revealing that he would be interested in talking to some of the world's biggest names - both as backers and riders - as he targeted an entry into the world's most famous cycle race.
“We're already in July and that leaves us at risk for being ready for next year's Tour,” he admitted, “but, if we win the Tour de France, it's not a problem if you finish eighth or tenth at other races. Every cyclist's dream is to win it.”
Speculation has already linked current McLaren sponsor Santander to the team, while Alonso has made no secret of his interest in attracting 2009 Tour de France winner
Alberto Contador to the squad, having met with the Spaniard in Monte Carlo.
“Contador has one year left on his contract,” Alonso said, "so maybe there's a possibility for the year after. We'll see.”
Contador's Astana team has been the subject of rumours about its future, and has already seen American cycling legend Lance Armstrong announce that he would be leaving at the end of the season to start his own RadioShack-backed team.