Contador withdraws from Spanish national championships citing health reasons

Tinkoff rider has not participated since 2011

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) has withdrawn from Saturday’s Spanish national championships road race, citing illness. The 33-year-old made his announcement via Twitter on Friday morning.

“Hello everybody. With great regret, for health reasons I cannot be at the Nationals tomorrow. I hope that we’ll see a nice race,” Contador wrote.

A source close to Contador later told Cyclingnews that the Spaniard picked up a slight cold in training last week.

Contador’s last appearance at the Spanish national road came in 2011, when he placed second behind José Joaquin Rojas. He was stripped of the placing the following year, however, when he was handed a backdated suspension for his positive test for Clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France.

The sole national title on Contador’s palmarès is the time trial crown he captured back in 2009, on the eve of his last Tour victory.

This year’s Spanish Championships road race takes place on a demanding circuit in Cocentaina, near Alicante, and Contador had initially planned to line out partly as a means of preparing for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games road race. “I’m thinking of doing a long one-day race like the Olympics, though they’re not comparable,” he said at the time.

The race was the sole event on Contador’s calendar between the Critérium du Dauphiné, where he placed fifth overall, and the Tour de France, which gets underway in Mont-Saint-Michel on July 2. Contador held a training camp in Livigno since the Dauphiné as he continues his Tour preparation.

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