Contador staying at Tinkoff-Saxo for 2016

Amid rumors of retirement, Alberto Contador confirms that he will race with Tinkoff-Saxo in 2016

MADRID (AFP) — Two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador announced on Tuesday that he would extend his contract for a further year with the Tinkoff-Saxo team.

The Spaniard’s current contract with the team expires at the end of this season, and there had been some indications that the 32-year-old was considering retirement.

“For me it was something very important,” Contador said in a team press statement. “I knew I could not wait much more because if I had to choose another option it should have been done much in advance, in order to adequately prepare the team. We have been thoroughly assessing all aspects, and in Tinkoff-Saxo we have a group that can fully guarantee the challenge of the grand tours.

“It is true that it was important for 2016 to have these guarantees and for that reason, I am very happy to have closed the deal. It is already five years that I have been working with Bjarne Riis, and the possibility to continue for another year is satisfying.”

Team owner Oleg Tinkov said, “I’m very happy that Alberto will lead Tinkoff-Saxo in 2016 as well, because I truly believe he is the best cyclist in the world, and I am convinced he will continue to be so for a few more years. Unfortunately, he decided he would retire at the end of next year which means he will race with my team for two full seasons. I would have, obviously, preferred him to stay longer but that was his personal decision.

“However, I am very proud that Alberto’s impressive career will conclude in my team and I hope he takes the Tinkoff-Saxo colors to the top step of the Tour de France podium in 2015 and 2016.”

Climbing specialist Contador, who has won all three major tours, is due to take part in this week’s Tirreno-Adriatico stage race in Italy, which starts on Wednesday.