Contador pencils in retirement for end of 2016

Multiple Grand Tour winner Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) has pencilled in retirement from professional racing at the end of 2016, when he will be 34.

Speaking at the presentation of the two teams run under the auspices of the Alberto Contador Foundation, the Flex junior squad and the Specialized U-23 team, the Tinkoff-Saxo rider said that his current plans do not include racing beyond the end of next season.

"I’m not ruling anything out, but at the moment if there are no unforeseen developments like injuries that affect my racing, that is the plan," Contador said.

Widely considered to be the greatest stage racer of his generation, Contador turned pro in 2003, with his first victory a time trial in the Tour de Pologne that season. He won his first Grand Tour, the Tour de France, in 2007. His latest victory was in the 2014 Vuelta a España.

Contador currently will be out of contract with the Tinkoff-Saxo team at the end of this season, although he is understood to be keen to continue with the squad for at least another year.

Speaking to Cyclingnews last December, Contador expressed a keen desire to leave racing at the peak of his career. "It's always difficult to say when but one thing is sure, I want to finish my career at the top but you need to take it all year by year," he said. "I don't think it will be this season. No, I don't think so. Maybe I can continue for another few years but I just want to finish at the top."

Contador is due to start his season on Wednesday, February 18 in the Vuelta a Andalucia.

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