Europe's fourth-oldest ongoing stage race kicks off Monday and features some heavy hitters in the GC field.
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.
Alberto Contador lost Paris-Nice by two seconds, which begs the question: Could he have made up those two seconds with a different bike?
Paris-Nice wraps with thrilling final attack by Contador. Tirreno-Adriatico sees Quintana thump the climbers. What did we learn from these
Stage 8 winner David de la Cruz cuts Alberto Contador's chance for third race win as Sergio Henao takes the overall victory by two seconds.
David de la Cruz wins final stage while Sergio Henao narrowly escapes late Alberto Contador rally to hold on to Paris-Nice win on Sunday.
The 34-year-old Spaniard will need big rides in the three climbing stages, Friday-Sunday, that conclude the race.
Spain's Ruta del Sol race features top GC riders like Alberto Contador and four-time winner Alejandro Valverde.
Although Contador is old for a grand tour contender, 34 this summer, he may still be a threat to win the Tour de France one last time.
Alberto Contador plans to take advantage of strong climbing teammates Mollema and Pantano in his bid to win the 2017 Tour de France.
The Spaniard delivers some well-placed shots at the Russian, who is no longer in pro cycling after he closed down his Tinkoff squad.