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Contador out of Spanish nationals with illness

Alberto Contador pulls out of Spanish national road race with unspecified illness

MADRID (AFP) — Tour de France hopeful Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) has pulled out of this weekend’s Spanish road race championships citing health concerns just a week ahead of the start of cycling’s top tour.

“Hello everyone! I’m sorry to say that because of health concerns I won’t be taking part in the nationals this weekend (Saturday). I hope it’s a good race,” the double Tour de France winner Contador said via Twitter on Friday.

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) are among the big names lined up to take part.

On Thursday, Movistar’s Ion Izagirre won the Spanish national time trial beating teammate Jonathan Castroviejo by 22 seconds, while Valverde was third three seconds further back to give Movstar a podium sweep.

The Tour de France 2016 starts July 2 from Mont Saint Michel, where Contador will lead the Tinkoff team, before he represents Spain at the Rio Olympic Games.