Contador shelves retirement plans for now

Off to hot start so far this season, Alberto Contador says he's putting his retirement plans on hold

EIBAR, Spain (AFP) – Two-time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) has put his plan to retire on hold after claiming his fourth Vuelta al País Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country) title Saturday.

Contador, 33, had previously stated 2016 would be his final season as a professional rider, but buoyed by a strong start to the year – he also finished second in Paris-Nice and the Volta a Catalunya – he now looks set to continue riding in 2017.

“Thinking it over with my family and my team and seeing how I am enjoying what I am doing, I think for the moment I am going to leave this idea to one side,” Contador said of retiring.

“I think I am going to continue enjoying and doing what I like, which is cycling.”

Contador outgunned Colombian duo Sergio Henao and Nairo Quintana to win Saturday’s 16.5-kilometer time trial in Eibar in 29:13, claiming the overall victory by 12 seconds.

“I have worked very hard this winter to be in this shape,” added Contador.

“I have done very well in all the races, but a couple have escaped for a few seconds, perhaps because there hasn’t been a time trial or other factors. This one I was able to win and I’m very happy.”