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by Mark Zalewski
July 11, 2016
In today’s CT Daily News Digest: Tom Dumoulin wins summit finish in Andorra, Froome defends Tour de France lead; Giro Rosa Round-up: a last-minute stage win for Rabo-Liv and Megan Guarnier wins the Giro Rosa!; Jan Hirt wins Tour of Austria; Nikolay Mihaylov wins Sibiu Cycling Tour; Citing fever, Alberto Contador abandons 2016 Tour de France in Pyrenees; Tactical error? BMC Racing loses out to Froome on Tour’s first big mountain stage; Dan Martin feeling ‘great’ as Tour de France heads for familiar roads; Froome defends action against fan; Commentary: Why Chris Froome was right to punch that spectator; Tinkov, in TV interview: Valverde is jealous of Contador, Europeans don’t know how to do business; New Zealand names final Olympic cycling team; Why Andorra is becoming one of Europe’s most popular pro cycling bases; Tour de France, stage 9 recap; Tour de France, stage 8 on-board highlights; Tour de France, stage 7 on-board highlights; POV footage of Adam Yates crash into 1km inflatable; Orica-BikeExchange Backstage Pass, stage 7; 6-year-old tries Froome’s aero-tuck
With about 100km and three major climbs remaining on Stage 9, Spaniard Alberto Contador pulled over, dismounted his bike, waved to TV cameras, and stepped into a Tinkoff team vehicle, his 2016 Tour de France over.
Contador abandoned the race in his favored terrain; Stage 9, starting in Spain and finishing in Andorra, featured five categorized climbs and would ordinarily have been his springboard up the general classification. Contador attempted to get into an early breakaway on the stage, but then spent much of the race at the back of the peloton chatting with his team car.
It was a sad exit for Contador, the winner of all three of cycling’s Grand Tours, a rider who is listed as a two-time Tour champion though he’s stood on the podium three times; his 2010 victory was stripped due to an anti-doping violation.
Contador had last stood on the Tour podium in 2010; he’s since finished fourth (in 2013) and fifth (In 2015). Images of him climbing into the Tinkoff team car were reminiscent of his abandon in 2014, when he left the race on Stage 10 after a heavy crash left him with a broken leg.
Now 33, previously believed to be appearing in his final Tour de France — he’s since said he hopes to continue racing in 2017 — Contador had come to the race hoping for one final victory at the sport’s biggest race.
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