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Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank)
Spaniard also hopes for Worlds participation
Following the declarations made by Saxo Bank sporting director Tristan Hoffman, Alberto Contador has confirmed that the Eneco Tour will be his first race coming back to competition after his doping suspension, which ends on August 5. The Spaniard also hinted that the Danish team managed by Bjarne Riis will very probably be the outfit which which he will be signing for the remainder of the year, despite having received at least five other offers.
In a radio interview aired on Cadena Ser, Contador announced that he would return to racing prior to the Clásica San Sebastián, "in the Eneco Tour. I can also confirm that I will be at the Vuelta a España. I'm very motivated for every race I attend. Also, to race your home Grand Tour is special, and I will be there even more motivated than if I had 80 days of competition in my legs," the Tour de France winner said.
Being one of the best cyclists in the world and currently on the market, several teams have naturally been interested in Contador, who has to confirm the signing of a deal. But the 29-year-old has clearly stated his preference for his former team Saxo Bank - and not necessarily for financial reasons.
"I'm working on it [contract negotiations - ed.]. There were six interested teams, amongst them Movistar. But without a doubt, my priority is the Saxo Bank team, who gave me their unconditional support through these difficult times, and that's something that money can't buy. There are things you need to honour and they are priceless."
Contador will be targeting a second overall victory at the Vuelta a España after his 2008 win, in the hope of being able to "pay back all the support" he received in his home country since the announcement of his positive result for Clenbuterol in late August 2010. "I will prepare for it in the best possible way. But the sport is not made of maths, a lot of things can happen. I want to be at the start in a good state of form."
Finally he also revealed that the 2012 Worlds in Limburg, Netherlands, will be another end of season objective. "I'd like to be part of the selection, for the road race as well as for the time trial."