Contador hints he may retire in 2016

Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:28am EST
 
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MADRID (Reuters) - Twice Tour de France champion Alberto Contador has hinted 2016 may be his last year as a professional cyclist.

Tinkoff-Saxo rider Contador, who crashed out of last year's Tour, told El Mundo newspaper he had always intended to retire while he was still able to compete with the world's best.

"Right now I am very excited about the season ahead but the truth is my dream has always been to retire at the top, winning grand tours, and that's why I only see myself doing this year and next," he said in an interview published on Monday.

"But I don't want to set an exact date because a lot of things could happen," added the 32-year-old who is planning to ride the Tour and the Giro d'Italia this year.

"Imagine I fall in the 2016 Tour, then I wouldn't want to retire in that way. But the truth is I don't see myself continuing for more than two more years."

Contador is in the final year of his contract with Tinkoff-Saxo and told El Mundo he was not necessarily going to see out his career with the Russian-owned team.

"We are at the moment when a decision needs to be made," he said. "The decision is not easy.

"We have had various forms of contact with the team about next year but I am considering everything on a sporting and personal level.

"I will make a decision soon but right now I don't know what I will do."

(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Tony Jimenez)

 
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