The site of Alberto Contador on the balcony of the Pinto town hall with a large crowd below in the Plaza de La Constitución has become a regular feature of the season since his 2007 Tour de France. On Tuesday, the retiring Spaniard was feted for one final time by the crowds who sang "Un año más, un año más, un año más.." 'one more year' after he brought his career to a close at the 2017 Vuelta a Espana.
The 34-year-old announced in August that the Vuelta, his home Grand Tour that he won in 2008, 2012 and 2014, would be the final race of his career. An off day in Andorra on stage 3 looked like the seven-time Grand Tour champion had made the right call but it would prove to be an off day in an otherwise aggressive final showing.
On the final mountains stage of the race to the Angliru Contador went out on the attack in search of one final win. With the overall win and podium out of his reach, Contador salvaged his race with the stage and ensured he finishes with a 100 per cent winning record on the infamously hard Asturian climb.
"After the first Tour, it was very special, but this one is very different to all. It is the last," Contador said of the Pinto reception according to AS. "I think there's no better time to leave. When I started I had three dreams: to be professional, to ride the Tour and the other was to win it... to say goodbye in this way, I could not have done it in a better way."
Contador also said that isn't expecting to ease into retirement, stating "I will not have much free time."
"I will turn to my Foundation, which has two branches. The first one everyone knows, where we have a team that continues to grow and our intention in a couple of years is to reach the top category of cycling," he said. "But the other is the least known, the stroke. I suffered one and for that I want to dedicate myself so that people know the disease well and above all know how to detect it in time."