Tinkoff-Saxo owner Oleg Tinkov has indicated that 2015 could be Alberto Contador’s final season as a professional rider. The Spaniard, who is out of contract at the end of the current season, is targeting the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France double but has been on the fence as regards to his long-term future.
Tinkoff stressed that he would want the 32-year-old to re-sign with the Russian team for at least another year but told Cyclingnews that he would not pressure Contador into making a decision.
"It’s his decision. If he wants to continue then we’ll be more than happy to have him with our team but I don’t know if he’s decided to continue. We’ve not discussed it yet. This might be his last season, I don’t know. It could be," Tinkov told Cyclingnews.
"It’s totally his decision. I know that he will finish in our team, this year or next year. Maybe he’ll win the double and decide to stop. I don’t know and I will not push him."
Tinkov bought the WorldTour team licence from Bjarne Riis before the start of the 2014 season and despite crashing out of the Tour de France in July and sustaining a fractured leg, Contador went on to win the Vuelta a España, beating Chris Froome in the process.
Bjarne Riis recently told Cyclingnews that he believed Contador would carry on racing even if he were to achieve the Giro and Tour double, saying: "When you’re as good as he is, why would you retire [soon]? I don’t see the point in that. It doesn’t make sense. When it comes to that point it’s all about motivation and finding your new goals. If you have that, and the dedication to sacrifice at that level, then why stop?"
Tinkov added his admiration for his team leader, saying that the Spaniard could also remain at the top for a few more years.
"He’s the strongest cyclist of his generation and he could be strong for another two or three years," Tinkov said.