With only the final stage to Madrid remaining, Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) knows he's won the 2012 Vuelta a Espana.
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Dutch town no longer wants to host cycling
The Dutch province of Drenthe no longer wishes to support a bid to host the Vuelta a España due to the wide ranging doping scandal centered on Lance Armstrong.
"We regret that we now have to take this decision," said provincial deputy Ard van der Tuuk according to ANP. "We as a provincial government had wished to repeat the success seen in 2009. The conditions have changed in a short time."
The provincial government had pledged €600,000 to host the event, which was confirmed as the second Dutch grand depart for the Vuelta after the 2009 opening stages which began in Assen. That year's event was a big success for the Netherlands and the Vuelta organisers, and the race was looking to hold five stages on Dutch soil.
The first stage is planned to be a team time trial in Essen, and the fifth a road stage ending in Breda.
The negative image of cycling caused by the Lance Armstrong case, which could still lead to more revelations of organised doping in the decade past, has already led Rabobank to withdraw its support of professional cycling.
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