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by Shane Stokes
August 19, 2017
In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: Mezgec takes Veenendaal-Veenendaal Classic; Guillaume Martin wins final stage of Tour du Limousin, Vuillermoz swoops for overall; Asgreen takes stage 1 of Tour de l’Avenir; Dan Martin signs for UAE Team Emirates, Sutherland also comes on board; Contador on Vuelta finale to his career: “As always, I want to win”; Vermote moves to Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka chasing new Classics targets; Video: 2017 UCI Women’s WorldTour – Crescent Vargarda; Video: What it means to ride La Vuelta a España 2017; Video: La Vuelta a España 2017; Video: Chris Froome pre-race interview Vuelta a España 2017
Speaking prior to Saturday’s start of the Vuelta a España, Alberto Contador has made clear that he believes he can go out on a high and achieve victory his final pro race. “I want to enjoy my last race as much as possible but, let there be no misunderstanding. As always, I want to win!”
Contador is lining out in the Vuelta as a three-time champion but, after a somewhat muted performance in the Tour de France, it is unclear if his rivals see him as a major danger. However he believes that he can fight for the final red jersey, although he said that victory wouldn’t tempt him to change his mind about retirement.
“I am totally sure about my decision, so even if I have a very, very good result here, I won’t change my mind,” he stated. “My preparation was very different of what I am used to. I have never done the Vuelta after finishing the Tour. When I combined Vuelta and Tour in the past, it was because I had some kind of setback or mishap that prevented me from finishing the Tour, like it was in 2014 and 2016.
“So, basically I tried to rest up as much as I could. I stayed in Madrid and the last 10 days I trained quite well. This is totally new for me of course, but I think I have recovered very well from the Tour. I was thinking about retiring for quite some time, even though Luca (Guercilena, General Manager Trek-Segafredo) and I were also discussing to extend my contract and to keep going until the Giro d’Italia of next year.
“But the truth is that I wasn’t sure of either one of those options and I knew the Tour de France would give me the answer. Not because of the results, but I knew I would arrive at the start of the Tour in optimal conditions so I was sure the answer to my question would come during or right after the Tour. And it was exactly like that. At one point, that must have been after stage 9, I saw things very clear and I knew what I had to do, But to be honest that decision was already, let’s say a 70% sure before the start of the Tour de France.”