Tinkoff-Saxo's Alberto Contador has confirmed that his main focus for the 2016 season will be the Tour de France. Next year is set to be Contador’s final one as a professional cyclist. During a Twitter Q&A with his followers, the Spaniard said that he would gear things around his final attempt at the Tour.
“Next year the Tour will be the axis of my season, the rest is not sure yet. And yes, I'm thinking on it already,” Contador posted on Twitter.
Contador has two Tour de France titles, plus another that was later taken from him following a positive for Clenbuterol. He attempted to win both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France this season and, while he was able to win the Giro, he could only manage fifth at the Tour. It is the second time that he has tried to win both races in a season and the second time that he has come up short.
When asked if he was disappointed that he had not been able to complete the Giro-Tour double, he said, “No, I couldn’t forgive myself for finishing my career and not having tried, I failed but I have enjoyed trying.” To a later question about what cycling had taught him, he responded, “Some things that at a glance seems (sic) impossible, with work, sacrifice and determination are possible.”
During the short Q&A, Contador touched on a number of subjects. One fan asked him for his thoughts on his teammate Peter Sagan, who claimed his fourth straight green jersey at the Tour de France, and whether they were friends. “I have a great admiration for him and he is a wonder for this sport. Yes, our relationship is exceptional.”
With Contador due to retire at the end of next season, many of the questions were about his career so far. During his 12-year career, Contador has notched up seven Grand Tour victories and overall wins at Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico and the Vuelta al País Vasco. He’s also amassed eight Grand Tour stage wins and a national time trial title.
“Verbier Tour 2009 was very important for many reasons… but I get more excited about Fuente Dé. To want is to be able to,” he posted on Twitter in response to a question about his most important victories.
The 2009 finish to Verbier is one of three at the Tour de France and put him into yellow ahead of final rest day. He would go on to beat Andy Schleck by 4:11 in the overall classification, taking his second overall Tour win after being unable to compete at the previous year’s race when his Astana team were refused entry following the Operacion Puerto scandal.
Contador’s 2012 Vuelta a España stage win at Fuente Dé is probably his most emphatic. The Spaniard struck out early and soloed to the win and put himself into the race lead when it looked like his chances were done. The win was also made all the more important with the Vuelta a España being his first race back following his retrospective two-year ban for testing positive for Clenbuterol.
Contador was due to end his season at San Sebastián, just a week after the Tour, but illness forced him to finish it earlier.