“Hi all! I’m doing this video to inform you about two things,” Contador said in his native Spanish. “One is that I will participate in the next Vuelta a España starting August 19, and the second is that will be my last race as a professional cyclist. I say this happy; I say this without sadness. It’s a decision that was very thoughtful, and I don’t believe there’s a better farewell than in the home race and in my country. I’m sure it will be three weeks of my dreams, enjoying all your affection, and I can’t wait to get started. Greetings, and see you on the road starting August 19! Ciao!”
Contador’s career has included two Tour de France wins, two Giro d’Italia wins, and three Vuelta a España wins, making hime one of only six cyclists to have won all three Grand Tours and one of the most decorated riders of all time.
Like so many cyclists, Contador’s career was not without scandal. After his 2007 Tour de France win, the Spanish cyclist was unable to defend his title in 2008 because his team at the time (Astana) was banned from the Tour due to previous doping offenses. Still, Contador made the most of 2008 with wins in both the Giro and the Vuelta before reclaiming his Tour de France champion title in 2009.
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More doping scandals followed Contador when, in 2012, the Court of Arbitration for Sport retrospectively banned him for two years due to a positive test for the banned substance Clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour. Though Contador claimed contaminated meat had caused him to fail the test, the ban stripped him of his 2010 Tour de France and 2011 Giro d’Italia wins.
Contador never managed to win another Tour de France after his ban, but he did win two more Vueltas in 2012 and 2014 and another Giro in 2015.
While the Spanish cyclist initially intended to retire in 2016, he joined Trek-Segafredo for one last year in the saddle, finishing ninth in the 2017 Tour de France.
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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.
The Vuelta will begin on August 19 in Nimes, France and make its way to Contador’s home city, Madrid for a September 10 finale.
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