Alberto Contador of UCI Pro Team Saxo-Tinkoff reconfirmed he will not defend his Vuelta a España crown, but hopes to race the world championships later this season.
Speaking to the Spanish daily MARCA, Contador said defending his Vuelta victory of 2012 was never in his plans.
“The Vuelta was never on my calendar and that’s the main reason I am not going to defend my victory of last year,” Contador told MARCA.
“Also, Saxo-Tinkoff has a strong block of riders who have been subject to me all season and who can do well individually. Majka, [Nicolas] Roche, and [Roman] Kreuziger, if they decide to race, can do well and fight for the podium.”
Contador had already told journalists at the end of the Tour de France, where he finished fourth overall, that he was not going to the Vuelta. Team boss Bjarne Riis, however, suggested the decision had not been finalized.
Contador’s comments in Saturday’s edition of MARCA, taken ahead of a gran fondo in Italy, are the latest confirmation that he will not be in Galicia on August 24 when the Vuelta starts.
Instead, Contador said he would focus on a series of one-day races, including GP de Plouay in France, followed by the Canadian World Tour events at Quebec and Montreal, and end with Milano-Torino and the Giro di Lombardia. He also expressed interest in racing the world championships in Florence.
Contador also outlined his frustration about his performance during the Tour, suggesting that he posted his best numbers in pre-Tour tests, but could not deliver during the race.
Contador said hat cycling is not a matter of math so there is no way to exactly predict what the body does at some times. He also said that before starting the tour, many tests were done.