Contador will miss 2011 Tour of Spain, but considering attempting Vuelta-Tour double in 2012
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Contador will miss 2011 Tour of Spain, but considering attempting Vuelta-Tour double in 2012

by Conal Andrews at 4:04 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, Injury
 
Spaniard had been close to dropping out of 2011 Tour de France

Alberto ContadorStating that he is tired ‘both physically and psychologically,’ Alberto Contador will miss this year’s Vuelta a España, but has indicated that he could do the race in 2012.

"Maybe next year I'll be in the Vuelta,” he told Spanish media sources. “This year it does not enter into my plans. I need to rest."

The Spaniard suffered his first Tour de France defeat since winning in 2007, finishing back in fifth place in the race. He was drained after taking the Giro d’Italia title earlier this year, and from the strain of an ongoing battle to clear his name in relation to a positive test for Clenbuterol. He also suffered due to crashes in the first half of the race.

“You have to measure your strength when deciding whether to compete in a race or not because your ability to recover has its limits," the three-time Tour winner said, according to AP.

There had previously been suggestions that Contador might attempt to win the Giro-Tour-Vuelta triple at some point in the next two or three years. Saxo Bank SunGard team owner Bjarne Riis said that it was a goal he was very interested in chasing with Contador, but his defeat in the Tour after riding the Giro has almost certainly put an end to such thoughts.

However targeting the Tour and Vuelta is a more realistic target, particularly as it would leave Contador fresh for the Tour, then put him into the Spanish event. Although it’s held on a tough route, the calibre of contenders is not the same in the Vuelta as at the Tour. It means he would be targeting a less difficult race second, increasing his chances.

Meanwhile it has emerged that the rider was close to pulling out of this year’s Tour after crashes in the opening nine days. He hit the ground heavily on stage nine, having tangled with Katusha rider Vladimir Karpets, and banged his knee. According to L’Equipe, the joint was so stiff that he struggled to climb stairs afterwards. Fortunately the following day was the first rest day of the Tour, giving him an opportunity to recover and continue in the race.

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