Cycling: Contador set to retire after 2016 season

Cycling: Contador set to retire after 2016 season

Spain's two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador said on Monday that he wants to leave cycling at the top of his game and plans to retire after the 2016 season.

"After 2016, what I can say for now, is that I don't see myself racing," the 32-year-old told a news conference. "This year, I am sure to be there, but next year I can't guarantee... That may be my last year," he added.

Contador won the Tour de France in 2007 and 2009, the Giro d'Italia in 2008 and won the Vuelta a Espana three times - in 2008, 2012 and 2014.

"It is hard to set a date when you love what you do. Physically I feel very well but it is true that the years are going by and you have to set a date. I would like to retire on top of a podium," he said.

"I feel very good, I recover well from training, I am very excited with my team. While I am very well physically, I could not know exactly how many years I could compete in the grand tours. I would like to retire at the top."

Contador will start his 2015 season - the last of his current contract with Tinkoff-Saxo - on Wednesday at the Ruta del Sol, a five-day stage race in southern Spain.

He said his goal this season is to win both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France. "I am not thinking of the Vuelta unless I have a setback at the Tour or something unforeseen happens," he said. "If I take part in a major race I am taking part to win and the challenge of winning the Giro and the Tour is already something that many people think is impossible so taking part in the Giro, Tour and Vuelta would be laughable."

Contador pulled out of the Tour de France last year after suffering a heavy crash during the 10th stage.

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