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Alberto Contador Velasco (Astana) leads Janez Brajkovic (Team Radioshack) with just over six and a half kilometres to Alpe d'Huez.
Spaniard aims to ride Tour and Vuelta for new team
Alberto Contador has announced his plans to return to the Vuelta a España next season. The Spaniard last participated in the event in 2008, when he took overall victory.
“If everything goes normally, I will do two major tours,” Contador told Marca. “It’s not completely certain, but in principle, I will do the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España.”
Contador’s only previous Vuelta start was his winning ride in 2008, a year in which he also won the Giro d’Italia. The Tour de France winner explained that he did not participate this season because he had raced so much earlier in the year and that he did not feel that he would be capable of continuing that form into September. “I never go to a race simply for the pleasure of it, I always try to win,” he explained.
“Some people don’t realise that when I rode the Tour de France in July, my season was almost over,” Contador said. “I was already up there in my first race of the year, the Volta ao Algarve. When I rode the Tour I was hitting top form for the second time in the year.”
Contador is currently recovering from a minor knee injury sustained in a training crash last week, but he expects to be back training in the next week. Next season, he leaves the Astana squad to ride for Bjarne Riis’ Saxo Bank-Sungard, and he is looking forward to the challenge. “I’m very motivated and I’m sure I will be a lot stronger in 2011,” he said.