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Alberto Contador at the 2009 Tour de France. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Alberto Contador at the 2009 Tour de France. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Arguably the most prolific grand tour rider of his era, Spaniard Alberto Contador won the Tour de France in 2007 and 2009, the Giro d’Italia in 2008 and 2015, and the Vuelta a España in 2008, 2012, and 2014.

However, Contador is not without controversy. In 2010, an anti-doping test performed at the Tour de France revealed traces of clenbuterol, a banned substance. A drawn-out appeals process continued into the following season. He won the Giro d’Italia in 2011 and was fifth at the Tour de France that year. However, Contador’s appeal was unsuccessful, and he was subsequently stripped of the 2010 Tour win, as well as the 2011 Giro win and his result at the Tour that season.

His doping ban ended in August 2012, and Contador wasted no time, coming back to win the Vuelta that summer. Since his ban, Contador has been a regular contender at all three grand tours and a canny tactician willing to lose a podium finish for a chance to win it all.