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Video: Riis on racing the Tour without Contador
It's official: Four-time grand tour winner Alberto Contador will return to racing with his former team Saxo Bank in August. A three-year deal was announced on the team's website on Friday. Once Contador's suspension ends on August 6, the Spaniard will return to competition with the squad owned by Bjarne Riis.
"A lot of speculation and rumour have surrounded Alberto Contador and his future in the past months, but both our sponsors, the team and Alberto have shared the same wish to continue and build on our relationship," Riis said. "All along throughout these last two tough years we have stood by Alberto, so to be able to announce his return to the team is something I have been really looking forward to. Now we can put an end to these speculations and start focusing on building the team for the coming years."
Contador had been rumoured to sign with Astana or Omega Pharma-QuickStep recently. The latest speculation even had him changing teams with the Schleck brothers, in order for them to come back to Riis and for him to return to former team manager Johan Bruyneel. But the Spaniard himself had never raised any doubts on his team preference during the last months.
"The decision to return to Team Saxo Bank has actually been pretty easy, and my first priority was always to rejoin the team and to continue working with Bjarne Riis and the rest of the team. The support I have experienced from them in a very difficult situation was extraordinary. I'm really looking forward to getting back on the bike, and my aim is to repay that support, hopefully with some great results," Contador commented.
The 29-year-old is currently serving a doping suspension due to a positive result for Clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France. He will most likely return to competition at the Eneco Tour and hopes to win the Vuelta a Espana later this year.