Christian Prudhomme, the director of the Tour de France, has called for a rapid conclusion to the Alberto Contador doping investigation, hoping a verdict can be reached before the season gets fully under way.
On Tuesday UCI President Pat McQuaid took a more pessimistic view, suggesting Contador could miss the Tour de France if the case goes to appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Prudhomme hoped for a far more rapid conclusion.
"I expect a response as soon as possible, as quickly as possible. The Spanish Federation and the UCI must decide before the season starts," he told Marca while attending the presentation of the 2011 Vuelta a Espana route in Benidorm.
Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) owns the Tour de France and 49 per cent of Unipublic that organises the Vuelta. Prudhomme predicted the 2011 Vuelta would be another close race.
"I think it’s an interesting route, with mountain finishes spread throughout the race and stage finale that promise plenty of emotions. Like last season, the result will be undecided until the last kilometre.”
"The return of the Vuelta to the Basque Country is also very important, especially for the Euskaltel team and the Basque cycling fans who love cycling so much.”