Contador rules out world championship tilt


Tour of Spain leader Alberto Contador has ruled out competing at the world championships in his home country a week from now despite being picked for the Spanish team.


Speaking after his victory in the 20th and penultimate stage of the Vuelta a Espana, a result which virtually assured him of overall victory a day later, Contador said Spain would have a strong team without him, despite Spanish selector Javier Minguez including him in a preliminary squad.

Asked if he would change his mind, Contador replied: “No, I’ve already taken my decision and I told him (Minguez).

“It’s true that he’s put me in the preliminary squad but that doesn’t change anything.

“The riders taking part have a great responsibility and Spain are favourites to win a medal.”

Minguez also selected Aljenadro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez, who were sitting third and fourth at the Vuelta heading into Sunday’s final stage 9.7km time trial in which the chances of gaining places are slim.

The world championships begin on Sunday September 21 in Ponferrada, northern Spain.

Contador said this Vuelta had not been as hard as his last victory in 2012 but acknowledged that this time around it had probably it’s best ever field with 2013 Tour de France winner Chris Froome, 2009 Vuelta laureate Valverde, Rodriguez, Fabio Aru and even current Giro d’Italia champion Nairo Quintana before he crashed out.

And having finished fourth at last year’s Tour and crashed out of this year’s Grand Boucle with a broken leg just 10 stages in, Contador said he was delighted to be back winning major three-week races.

“I’m back on the podium this year. It’s been a challenge and various circumstances stopped me from being at my maximum but those things motive me.

“I’ve never had a season in which I’ve worked so hard. It was tough to get over the disappointment in the Tour de France but in the rest of the races I’ve had the best results I could have.”

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