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Riis sets Grand Slam goal for new signing Contador

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Alberto Contador (Astana) celebrates his third Tour win

Alberto Contador (Astana) celebrates his third Tour win (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Alberto Contador partakes in a celebratory sip of bubbly en route to Paris.

Alberto Contador partakes in a celebratory sip of bubbly en route to Paris. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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For the third time in his career, Alberto Contador arrived in Paris wearing the maillot jaune.

For the third time in his career, Alberto Contador arrived in Paris wearing the maillot jaune. (Image credit: Sirotti)

Bjarne Riis believes Alberto Contador can win the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España in the same season, and become the first rider to ever complete a cycling Grand Tour Grand Slam.

Only five riders have won all three Grand Tours during their careers, and Contador is the last to complete the rare collection in 2008, when he added victories in the Giro and Vuelta to his first Tour de France victory in 2007. He has since won the Tour de France a further two times, taking his Grand Tour total to five in just three years.

Riis is convinced that Contador can make cycling history by winning all three in the same season, perhaps in 2012.

"I am convinced that we have not seen his full potential yet. It's obvious that we must go after the Tour de France but Alberto could win all three major races in a year, and I want be a part of that," Riis told Danish television when he announced that Contador had agreed to join his team and revealed that Saxo Bank would sponsor the team alongside SunGard in 2011.

"I'm not sure if it will be next year, but the ambition to do it in one of the next few years. And I believe that it can be done with him."

Contador has already confirmed that he will not ride this year's Vuelta a España but he could target all three Grand Tours if he decided to limit his goals early in the season and in the Spring Classics.

Contador has so far avoided setting any major goals for the future with Riis, saying, "Historically, Riis Cycling has always been successful, and together we will have the ability to play a very important role in the world of cycling in the years to come."

He is likely to say more on Tuesday evening, while riding a criterium in Castillon-la-Bataille, near Bordeaux.