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by Shane Stokes
September 6, 2017
Froome wins Vuelta TT stage and extends general classification advantage; Ewan pips Boasson Hagen to win stage three of Tour of Britain; D’hoore Wins Lotto Belgium Tour Prologue; Loren Rowney joins Drops; Andrew Talansky announces retirement from pro cycling at age 28; Ag2r La Mondiale removes two riders from Vuelta after sticky bottle incident; Lappartient: UCI’s tablet detectors ‘simply aren’t enough’; Man charged over death of Chris Boardman’s mother; Contador on retirement: ‘I’ll gain weight, you’ll make jokes about it’; Stepping up: Three US teams aim for Pro Continental status in 2018; Video: Missing the Vuelta TT start time
Alberto Contador is coming to terms with the rapidly-approaching end to his career, saying that the realization that he will soon no longer be a pro bike rider is settling in.
He has been racing his bike for more than half his life, and such a change could be intimidating. However he said that the reaction from fans has been very encouraging, and rewarding. This appears to be helping in the transition as his career winds down.
“I’m very proud to hear a lot of ‘gracias, Alberto,’” he said during the Vuelta’s second rest day on Monday. “I hear it over and over again, and it can only mean that people have enjoyed watching your performances, and they recognize your work.
“I couldn’t have chosen a better time or place to retire. For me it is a hard Vuelta but I’m really enjoying it. On a climb, when your legs are really hurting, you see a sign and hear shouts of encouragement, and it is like a present for me.”
Contador has also been celebrated each morning and evening, with huge crowds going to the Trek-Segafredo team bus to pay tribute to him. That has made an impression on him, and he said that those memories will remain.
“For me it is satisfying to enjoy the Vuelta a España the way I am doing, independent of the final result,” he explained. “I think people will remember my final result of this Vuelta less than other results in my career. Personally, I’m going to remember the sensation more than the result.”
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