Contador happy to be a part of Oviedo Criterium
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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Contador happy to be a part of Oviedo Criterium

by Jered Gruber at 8:42 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Three-time Tour de France winner attends Oviedo race as a spectator

While Alberto Contador did not take part in the criterium in Oviedo, Asturias, the three-time Tour de France winner attended the event. He was there to be a part of Jose Luis Rubiera's final race and at the behest of the criterium organisers. They did everything they could to ensure that the five-time Grand Tour winner would still attend, even under the current uncertainties concerning his future.

Quoted on the site, Contador was pleased to be a part of the criterium in Oviedo, even if only as a spectator.

"Asturias is always in my heart, and it had a big impact on my life, starting with the accident in 2004, when they discovered my condition - I was lucky that Doctor Zubizarreta was there to keep me from suffocating. And later, there were the victories that I had on the peaks of the Angliru and the Fuentes de Invierno."

Contador, who is still waiting for a ruling from the UCI concerning his positive test for clenbuterol at this summer's Tour de France, had nothing but kind words for the people of Asturias.

"The people here always treat me with incredible warmth, and I like coming here. This welcome is fantastic."

Not only the people were a lure for the native of Pinto, but the riders as well, in particular, 'Chechu' Rubiera's. Rubiera called a successful career complete at the end of the 2010 season and used the Oviedo Criterium as his parting event.

"I also had to come be a part of Rubiera's farewell, because, as a cyclist, he's the quintessential teammate. He's been a great gregario and a great person."

Two races were held - a points race and an elimination race. Ivan Basso took top honors in the points race ahead of soon to be suspended for two months, Carlos Barredo. In the second race, the elimination, Basso and Rubiera got away together with Rubiera taking the win in his final race as a professional. Basso took overall honors with his first and second places.

Contador is in a time of great uncertainty, but he admitted on Twitter that the support he has received has been vital in staying strong: "Many thanks to everybody for your support. You make me strong in this moment. You are incredible."



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