Alberto Contador to call time on cycling career after Vuelta

Alberto Contador

The three-week long Vuelta begins in Nimes, France, on August 19 before finishing on September 10 in Madrid - just a few miles from Contador's birthplace in Pinto.

"Hi all, I'm doing this video to inform you all of two things", said Contador. It's a decision that I have thought about very well and I don't think that there is a better farewell than in a home race in my own country.

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

Leading generalist of his generation, won three times on the stages of the Tour de France, five times he took cuts on the home tour, and in 2009 became the champion of Spain in race with separate start.

At the Vuelta Contador will ride in the status of the captain of the "Trek-Segafredo".

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The 34-year-old Spaniard, one of only six riders to have won the Tour de France, Vuelta and Giro d'Italia in their careers, confirmed the news in a video message on Instagram. But in 2012 he was stripped of a third Tour title from 2010 and banned for two years for doping.

Contador, who blamed it on contaminated steak, initially had a one-year ban lifted by the Spanish cycling federation but the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) eventually banned him, backdating it to January 2011 and erasing all his results from July 2010 to February 2012.

After returning to competition in late 2012 he won the Vuelta twice more and the Giro once, though another Tour victory would elude him.

His hopes of bowing out with victory in the Vuelta look slim as the race includes Tour victor Chris Froome (Team Sky), Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and France's Romain Bardet (Ag2r) who was third on the podium in Paris.

Froome will also be the man to beat in the Vuelta if Contador is to have a glorious goodbye from the sport as the Britain headlines a strong field also featuring Fabio Aru, Vincenzo Nibali and Romain Bardet.

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