Alberto Contador Announces Retirement After Vuelta a España

"The first one is that I will ride the next Vuelta a Espana from August 19 and the second is that it will be my last race as a professional cyclist".

But the seven-time Grand Tour victor - who also had two further Grand Tour wins scratched from the record after testing positive for clenbuterol in 2010 - is now keen to bow out in his home country.

Alberto Contador has announced he will retire from cycling following the Vuelta a Espana.

The No 1 bib is usually reserved for the defending champion, but organisers have broken with tradition and handed it to the Trek-Segafredo rider.

Contador is one of only six riders to have won all three Grand Tours, although two of his nine titles (the 2010 Tour de France and 2011 Giro d'Italia) were expunged from the record books because of a doping ban. "I say this happy and without sadness", the 34-year-old Contador said.

"I'm sure it will be a great three weeks, enjoying all your affection, and I'm eager that they come".

He completed the 2017 Tour in July in ninth place overall, suffering from a couple of minor crashes and looking off the form that has seen him win seven Grand Tours.

An appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport was rejected with Contador insisting his positive test for clenbuterol was caused by eating contaminated meat.

It begins in the French city of Nimes on August 19.

Contador will have many strong competitors to beat-including Chris Froome, Fabio Aru, Vincenzo Nibali, and Romain Bardet-if he intends to snag one last Grand Tour victory before retirement.

He also won the Giro d'Italia in 2008 and 2015, as well as triumphing at the Tour de France in 2007 and 2009.

  • Stacy Allen