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Race leader Alberto Contador and teammate Daniel Navarro await the start of stage 5.
Saxo Bank Spaniards to skip Tour de France
As further evidence that Alberto Contador will return to Team Saxo Bank when his doping suspension ends this summer, both Daniel Navarro and Benjamin Noval will skip the Tour de France in order to support Contador as Saxo Bank captain in the Vuelta a Espana.
Contador's suspension for his positive test for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France expires in early August. His contract with Saxo Bank was dissolved due to the ban, but he is expected to re-sign with the Danish team.
Navarro was originally scheduled to ride the Tour this year, but will now ride the Vuelta instead. "Alberto needs me, and I want to be good for the month of August," he told elcomercio.es. He also noted that "in addition, this year there is less time between the Tour and Vuelta."
His schedule has also been changed to include the Critereum du Dauphine (June 3-10), which he likes "because it is where I got my only win as a professional." He won stage 5 of that race in 2010.
Noval will also support his landsman in the Vuelta. He will build up with, amongst others, the Tour de Picardie and the Tour of Poland before taking on the Eneco Tour (August 6-12), "where I will be with Alberto Contador before our next goal, the Vuelta."