Cycling: Contador sits out 'unsuitable' world championships

Tue Sep 9, 2014 11:11am EDT
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(Reuters) - Tour of Spain overall leader Alberto Contador will sit out this month's world championships because the route does not suit him, the Spaniard said on Tuesday.

"The route does not suit me so I prefer to give my spot to another rider," Contador told reporters on the last rest day of the Vuelta, which he leads with a one minute 36 seconds advantage over compatriot Alejandro Valverde.

Contador, who is looking to win the Vuelta for the third time after his 2008 and 2012 triumphs, is taking part in the Tour of Spain after abandoning the Tour de France with a shinbone fracture in July.

The world championships will be held in Ponferrada, Spain from Sept. 21-28.

The men's course features two short climbs which will make it hard for a sprinter to prevail, prompting Mark Cavendish asking not to be picked by Britain, but those ascents are not tough enough to favor climbers like Contador.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Tinkoff-Saxo team rider Alberto Contador of Spain crosses the finish line of the 161-km (100 miles) eighth stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Tomblaine and Gerardmer La Mauselaine, July 12, 2014.  REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen