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Alberto Contador received a hero’s welcome Monday in Spain following his Giro d’Italia victory, but remained cautioned on a possible start in next month’s Tour de France.
He was greeted by political leaders in Madrid on Monday evening before traveling to his hometown of Pinto, where thousands poured into the town’s plaza to celebrate his second Giro crown.
Contador remained evasive, however, when it came to questions about his ongoing clenbuterol case and whether he might start in the 2011 Tour de France.
“Right now I want to enjoy this victory to the maximum,” Contador told the Spanish sports daily MARCA. “I’ve been completely focused on the objective of the Giro. I believe that’s the best thing to do. For the other things, I have a team of people working on them, in which I have full confidence. They’re doing the best they can.”
Possible delays in an appeal hearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport could open the door for Contador’s participation in the Tour. If a new hearing date is not set until after July, Contador would be allowed to race in the Tour despite having the possibility of disqualification of last year’s victory still unresolved.
“I’m not happy and I am not unhappy. I just want them to things in the right way,” Contador said. “I am not trying to force a delay in anything. It’s something that my lawyers are working on and I have full confidence in them.”
Contador said he wants to enjoy a few days of celebration before resuming light training in the wake of his second Giro crown in four years.
“Yes, the Tour is an option, but we’ll see how I recover,” he said. “The time between the Giro and Tour is very short, so you have to listen to the body. I believe I will stop for at least two weeks to recover and then I will make a decision with my team on what’s best.”
CAS officials are expected to meet this week to assign a new hearing date for Contador’s clenbuterol case. A hearing scheduled for early next week has been postponed at the request of lawyers wanting more time to prepare their case.