Contador: No Vuelta a Espana title defence

Alberto Contador has said that he will not defend his victory at the 2013 Vuelta a Espana after a difficult Tour de France, where he has been unable to be competitive against Chris Froome (Team Sky). 

“I will not be in the Vuelta a Espana this year,” Contador told Sporza TV before the start of the penultimate Tour de France stage.

The Saxo-Tinkoff rider said that he would instead concentrate on preparing for the Tour de France  in 2014, noting Chris Froome's superiority and dominance this year.

Contador returned from a ban for doping last summer and went on to win the Vuelta a Espana, beating fellow Spaniards Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) by 1:16 and Joaquim Rodriguez by 1:37.

He had come into the Tour de France as one of the favourites, but has never been able to seriously challenge Froome, who has led the race since the eighth stage. Contador and his Saxo-Tinkoff team seem to have accepted defeat and are now focused on winning the team prize ahead of Radioshack-Leopard.

Saxo-Tinkoff directeur sportif Philippe Mauduit said that all concerned have accepted the fact that a victory is not possible. “Yesterday we sat down together after the stage and have come to the conclusion that there's nothing we can do about it,” he told Sporza. “We need to face reality.”

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