Contador Confirms Participation After Return From Ban

Alberto Contador, widely considered to be the best climbing specialist and stage racer in the world, has confirmed that he has taken the decision to start la Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

The Spanish professional cyclist, one of the five riders to have won all three Grand Tours of road cycling, has been complaining of fatigue since falling ill during mid-March’s Tirreno-Adriatico. The rider finished third in the 2010 edition of la Flèche Wallonne and finished 11th in 2011 before he was retrospectively disqualified because of his 2010 Tour de France positive test for Clenbuterol.

Contador said the last week has been dedicated primarily to rest and added because he needed it, and he has only done two longer trainings, looking for the endurance you need for these races. The rider added that the idea is to test his condition and increase the chances of his team. He further added that Saxo-Tinkoff wanted him to be here and, of course, they are races that everyone likes to ride, but in preparing for the Tour de France it’s perhaps better to miss them and added but he only has to extend his competition schedule by another week, so he’ll try to do the best he can and said he will take a holiday before starting preparation for the Tour.

Contador has earned a reputation as an all-rounder, a cyclist who excels in all aspects of stage racing that are needed for high places in the general classification. His career has been marked by doping allegations. Alberto Contador was accused to be related with the Operación Puerto doping case and had to withdraw en masse from the 2006 Tour de France before it began and thereafter he was accused of doping after his victory in the race the following year. In 2007, German doping expert Werner Franke accused the cyclist of having taken drugs in the past and being prescribed a doping regimen by Eufemiano Fuentes, who was connected with Operación Puerto. In the year 2010, the cyclist announced that he had tested positive for Clenbuterol in a control taken during that year’s Tour de France, in which he finished as winner. The world governing body of cycling, the UCI, issued a statement reporting that the concentration was 50 picograms per milliliter, and that this was 400 times below the minimum standards of detection capability required by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport later announced that the Spanish cyclist be stripped from the results obtained in the 2010 Tour de France and later, which also caused him to lose his 2011 Giro d’Italia victory despite Alberto Contador claiming that the positive test for Clenbuterol was due to contaminated meat. The cyclist was, however, also suspended until 5 August 2012, and his contract with Team Saxo Bank was annulled and he joined the renamed Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff bank after completion of the ban. Upon his return, the Spanish cyclist competed in the 2012 Eneco Tour as preparation for the Vuelta a España where he finished 4th in the general classification and was later named leader of Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank for the Vuelta a España.

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