Alberto Contador, currently sitting out a sporting ban for testing positive for Clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France, has indicated he is close to an agreement to return with the Saxo Bank team when his suspension is lifted on August 5, 2012, and said he is aiming at another Vuelta a España title.
Contador made the statements while visiting the headquarters of Flex, a Spanish mattress maker who is sponsoring a campaign wherein Contador will return to ride the 174km Pau-Tourmalet stage of the 2010 Tour de France on May 18.
According to Marca.com, Contador said he "couldn't imagine racing with a team other than Saxo Bank", and is closing in on a contract. His previous contract was terminated upon the Court of Arbitration for Sport decision to impose a ban.
"The support I have been given by the team leaders, Riis ... has been great. For me it's invaluable, of this and my priority is to Saxo Bank. You have to close the deal, but on both sides is fully available and I think will reach an agreement soon. "
Contador continues to train, and is counting the days until the Vuelta a España, which will get underway on August 18th. "I will use the 101 days I have to go over every stage of the Vuelta very well. I like to leave few things at random, there are many new finishes this year in the Vuelta that I want to learn, which is good because it will make it more attractive to the spectators."
His first race back will be the Eneco Tour.
Contador said he continues to follow the races on television, analyzing his soon-to-be competitors. While it will be hard for him to watch the Tour de France from a distance, he did give up his two favorites for the win: Andy Schleck and Cadel Evans.
If Schleck cannot dislodge his foes in the mountains, Contador says, "I would like Cadel Evans, the reigning champion, as the favourite," due to the length of the time trials.