Despite attending the 2012 Giro d'Italia presentation in Milan on Sunday, defending champion Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) has ruled out racing the Grand Tour next season. During the presentation, he announced that the Tour de France would be his biggest goal for 2012.
"The course is good for me, and if I went with my heart, then I'd certainly race it," he said. However unlike in 2011, when the Spaniard attempted a Giro and Tour de France double, Contador will solely focus on winning back his Tour de France crown.
"Next year, I will think about other different objectives, such as the Tour de France. Although you can never say never again, next year I will not be here," he said.
Contador attended the Giro presentation, entering the stage in dramatic fashion as he was lowered onto the stage carrying his 2011 trophy. However despite his presence and several also pleading questions from the hosts, he confirmed that the Tour would be his main focus. However, he did confirm that he would appear at the race as a guest and take part in RCS's Tirreno-Adriatico.
"The race and the Italian fans have supported me in my two Giros. Next year I'll come back to Italy to race the Tirreno-Adriatico, a race that I don't have in my track record."
Contador also pointed to the start from Denmark as something that would benefit the Giro. "It will be spectacular. Denmark has made a great effort to get it, and people will be surprised to discover the great love of cycling in the country."
Contador's willingness to attend or not could count for nothing. Next month, he will go through his CAS hearing, in which the UCI and WADA will be looking to ban him for up to two years after he tested positive for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France.