In 2015, Alberto Contador said he would retire at the end of the 2016 season. Last year, at the Vuelta a Pais Vasco, he reversed that decision and breathed new life into his pro cycling career by signing with Trek-Segafredo. In an interview with AS.com, the 34-year-old said he hasn't decided how long his racing career will go on.
Two years ago, Contador was already considering stepping away from the sport when his contract with the Tinkoff team ran out. Then, he renewed for the 2016 season while mulling over creating his own pro team out of his Fundación Contador developmental team. But after winning Pais Vasco last April, he changed his mind.
He's signed on with Trek-Segafredo for one season with an option to renew, and has not thought about whether he would take advantage of that choice.
"Let's go race by race, year-to-year," Contador said to AS.com from the team's camp in Mallorca. "The most important thing is to enjoy what you do. At this point I am trained to do so. We'll see when I retire. You have to time it right."
Contador said the fans in the Basque country convinced him to continue on. "It is the sport that I love and I enjoy what I do. Just like that I decided it in an instant, this can be the same."
The Spaniard's last Grand Tour victory came in 2015 at the Giro d'Italia, the year he attempted to win both the Italian Grand Tour and the Tour de France. He could only manage fifth in the Tour, and last year crashed out of the race. He's won all three Grand Tours, but only once has he taken two in a season - the Giro and Vuelta in 2008.
He's abandoned the idea of trying for the Giro-Tour double this year, as Trek-Segafredo prefer to have Bauke Mollema contest the Italian race, while Contador focuses on the Tour. But will Contador try for the Tour-Vuelta double?
"It is an option, but right now we plan to do the Tour. I want to lay out the year in this way and then we'll see the rest."
For the future, Contador still hasn't abandoned the idea of forming his own team.
"If it happens, great. If not, no problem. It is not taking up my time or causing worry. I think it would be good for cycling to have one team more, but it is becoming more difficult to find sponsors."