By Andrew Hood
It really comes as no surprise, but now it’s official: Alberto Contador (Astana) says he won’t be racing next month’s Dauphiné Libéré.
Leading the Giro d’Italia with just three days to go, Contador will likely head back to the beach once the Giro ends Sunday to resume his vacation that was interrupted when the team received its unexpected Giro invite a week before the race started.
The Dauphiné was Contador’s next major goal until Giro organizers did a U-turn and offered the team a last-minute invitation on the condition that Contador was part of the Giro-bound squad.
Levi Leipheimer, who won the Dauphiné in 2006, will now be leading Astana while Andreas Klöden, winner of the Tour de Romandie, will captain the team’s Tour de Suisse campaign.
Contador’s post-Giro schedule remains unfixed, but he is still expected to race the Vuelta a España in September as well as take part in the Summer Olympic Games.
After getting a glimpse at the Varese worlds circuit in Thursday’s 18th stage at the Giro, Contador admitted the course isn’t well suited for his riding style.
“This worlds course is pretty hard, with a lot of curves and narrow roads. It will be difficult, but it’s not a course that favors me,” Contador said. “The climbs are relatively easy. It’s more for riders like Bettini or Freire, riders who can be competitive on this type of circuit.”