Alberto Contador will line up at the start of stage one of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon as the defending champion but a recent cold may affect him as he aims to win his third stage-race title of the season.
Contador has won Castilla y Leon on three occasions, finishing second once.
“The last two days I've been suffering from a cold but I hope I don't suffer during the race,” he said on the Saxo Bank-SunGard team website.
“This will be a difficult race because the mountain finish is not very demanding and cannot make so much of a difference. The time trial is also very short so any rider who arrives in time has a chance of victory.”
Contador’s first major objective remains this year’s Giro but he will face stiff opposition this week in Spain with Igor Anton (Euskaltel), Carlos Sastre (Team Geox) and Xavier Tondo (Movistar) all set to start the five-day event.
Forward to CAS
While his on-the-bike situation has been next to perfect this season, his off-the-bike problems have been anything but clear. Cleared to race by the Spanish Federation, he must go the Court of Arbitration for Sport after the UCI appealed the decision.
Contador and his legal team have selected Ulrich Haas as their representative on the three-person panel to decide the Spaniard’s fate. Haas was the chief judge who decided to uphold a ban for Alejandro Valverde last year. Valverde was given a two-year suspension.
Paradoxically, the UCI and WADA, have chosen Quentin Byrne-Sutton, who chaired the CAS and ruled in favour of Valverde after the UCI tried to stop him from participating in the Worlds in Stuttgart 2007. The third and final member of the panel will be chosen by the CAS.
"Ulrich Haas is one of the referees with more respect and prestige and one of the world's leading experts on doping, and has worked for the AMA,” sources have sold AS.com.
Haas is also a professor at the University of Zurich, and was a member of the legal team appointed to review the current WADA World Anti-Doping Code.
CAS has stated their aim to make a final ruling before the start of this year’s Tour de France. Last week they announced that, “The CAS Secretary General has informed the parties that the CAS would be ready to establish a procedural calendar allowing for the settlement of the dispute before the end of June 2011,” according to the court's website.