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Contador to ride Tour de France-Vuelta a Espana double in 2016

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Alberto Contador finishes stage 20

Alberto Contador finishes stage 20
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) waiting for the start of stage 21

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) waiting for the start of stage 21
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A beaming Rafa Majka on the podium

A beaming Rafa Majka on the podium
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Joaquim Rodriguez and rafal Majka on the final Vuelta podium.

Joaquim Rodriguez and rafal Majka on the final Vuelta podium.

Alberto Contador will target victory at the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana next season according to his Tinkoff-Saxo boss Oleg Tinkov. In a tweet posted on Monday morning, Tinkov also confirmed that Rafal Majka, who has just finished third at the Vuelta a Espana, would target the Giro d’Italia in 2016.

“OK, here is our humble plan for Tinkoff Team in 2016. To WIN Giro w Rafal Majka , Tour and Vuelta w Alberto Contador,” Tinkov wrote on twitter.

Contador has won the Vuelta a Espana three times, most recently in 2014, and the Tour de France on two occasions. He attempted the Giro-Tour this season, something that hasn’t been achieved since 1998. Contador took a convincing victory at the Giro d’Italia but the effort had taken its toll and he finished fifth at the Tour de France. This year’s Tour winner Chris Froome attempted the Tour-Vuelta double, something that has only been done by two riders, but crashed and broke his foot and was forced to abandon.

In an exclusive interview with Cyclingnews, Contador confirmed that he would form his season around the Tour in 2016, which is set to be the last as a professional rider.

“The primordial objective is the Tour de France. I'm a rider who likes to be competitive in every race I enter – I want to do well in the races at the start of the year – but the focus will be purely on the Tour. The only thing I can guarantee is that I'm preparing for it 100 per cent," he explained.

Tinkoff-Saxo will rely on Majka then for the remaining Grand Tour, the Giro d’Italia. Majka made his first appearance at the Italian race in 2013, and put in a breakthrough performance where he finished seventh overall and finished second to Carlos Betancur in the young riders’ standings. He went on to take sixth the following season but missed the race in 2015.

Majka rode in support of Contador at the Tour de France, taking a stage win also in Cauterets. He secured his best ever finish at a Grand Tour when he made the podium at the recent Vuelta a Espana.

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