Contador outlines road map for final season

Alberto Contador's swansong season will include Paris-Nice and a single-minded focus on winning the Tour one final time.

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) will stick to what he knows works best as he takes a final run at the Tour de France in 2016.

Speaking to Spanish media during a fund-raising event, Contador reconfirmed that the Tour and the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games will be his top goals for what is likely his swansong season. “It’s a classic calendar,” Contador said. “Almost certainly I will start at the Tour of Algarve, then a return to Paris-Nice, followed up with the Volta a Catalunya and the Tour of the Basque Country. Then a rest period ahead of the Critérium du Dauphiné and Tour.”

That road map is similar to what Contador’s employed in his traditional run-up to the Tour. This year, he raced and won the Giro d’Italia for a second time — his calendar was quite different than in previous seasons, and he fell short of yellow in July.

The other major change is that Contador will return to Paris-Nice for the first time since he won in 2010, which was his second victory there. Since then, he’s raced Tirreno-Adriatico as his preferred March stage race, but he’s decided to return to the calmer, though sometimes colder, French roads of early March.

Contador did not commit to racing the Vuelta a España one last time, a decision that he appears to be holding off on for now.

He also left the door open to racing one more season, but he stressed that would only happen if he suffered a major setback during the Tour in July. Instead, it appears Contador is hoping to build on his amateur racing team he backs under his Alberto Contador Foundation.

“[2016] may be my last season, unless I suffer a mishap in the Tour de France,” he said, adding that his first choice would be to stay with Tinkoff one more season. “If that were not possible, it would also be a very attractive option to pursue a personal project, if we get a sponsor to get a professional team with my Foundation, which would continue the work we are doing with young riders.”