Madrid - Two-time
Tour de France winner Alberto Contador announced on Monday that he will
bring his illustrious career to an end next month after racing in the
Vuelta a Espana on home soil.
"I would like to inform you about two things. One is that I will
participate in the next Vuelta a Espana from August 19 and the second is
that it will be my last race as a professional cyclist," Contador, 34,
said in a video posted on his Instagram account.
Contador is one of the most decorated cyclists of all-time with seven
Grand Tour victories in total to his name and is one of only six riders
to win all three of the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a
"It's a decision that I have thought through and I don't think there
is a better farewell than in the home race and in my country," Contador
"I'm sure they will be three wonderful weeks, enjoying all your affection, and I can't wait to get started."
Contador shot to fame with victory in the 2007 Tour de France with the Discovery Channel team before joining Astana in 2008.
He was unable to defend his yellow jersey at the Tour as the Kazakh
team were banned from competing by organisers due to previous doping
offences, but Contador made the most of his exclusion by winning both
the Giro and the Vuelta in 2008 before landing a second Tour de France
However, Contador's career was also overshadowed by a positive test for the banned substance Clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour.
After a protracted legal case, he was retrospectively banned for two
years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2012 and stripped of
victory in the 2010 Tour de France and 2011 Giro d'Italia.
Contador claimed his failed test had come about from eating contaminated meat.
More Grand Tour success followed his return at the Vuelta in 2012 and
2014 and the Giro in 2015, but Contador failed to rekindle his success
in the Tour de France with a fourth-placed finish in 2013 his best
result after the doping ban.
Having initially announced his intention to retire at the end of
2016, his impressive form last season encouraged Contador to continue
for 2017 as he joined Trek-Segafredo after Tinkoff-Saxo disbanded.
However, he endured a disappointing Tour de France in July as he
finished in ninth place and nearly nine minutes off Chris Froome.
"It has been an honour to work with such a great champion. Alberto
Contador has been showing his fighting spirit and his professionalism
all year long," said Trek-Segafredo general manager Luca Guercilena.
"It was great to have him in the team, even it was only for one
season, and we will keep giving it our all to help him to achieve a big
result in his last Vuelta a Espana."
Froome will also be the man to beat in the Vuelta if Contador is to
have a glorious goodbye from the sport as the Briton headlines a strong
field also featuring Fabio Aru, Vincenzo Nibali and Romain Bardet.
The race starts in Nimes, France before ending with a traditional ride around Contador's home city of Madrid on September 10.