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Contador will close curtain on his career after Vuelta a Espana

 

By Ian Parker

Alberto Contador has announced he will retire from professional cycling following the Vuelta a Espana next month.

The 34-year-old Spaniard, one of only six riders to have won the Tour de France, Vuelta and Giro d'Italia, confirmed the news in a video message on Instagram.

He said: "I'm doing this video to inform you about two things. One is that I will be participating in the next Vuelta a Espana, and the second is that will be my last race as a professional cyclist.

"I'm not saying it with sadness. I don't think there is a better farewell than in my home race, in my country."

The Vuelta begins in Nimes, France on August 19 before finishing on September 10 in Madrid - just a few miles from Contador's birthplace in Pinto.

Contador is a three-time winner of the Vuelta, sealing victories in 2008, 2012 and 2014, while he was also Giro champion in 2008 and 2015.

He also boasts two Tour de France titles, in 2007 and 2009, leaving him in an elite group of riders to have won all three Grand Tours, the others being Jacques Anquetil, Felice Gimondi, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Vincenzo Nibali.

Contador also finished first in the 2010 Tour de France but was stripped of that title - plus his 2011 Giro crown - and banned for two years after testing positive for clenbuterol. Contador, who returned in 2012, claimed he ate contaminated meat.

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