Team boss Luca Guercilena says they had planned 2018 with Contador in mind but accepted his decision to retire
“You can’t say it was a suspire, but the idea, clearly, was to have him for the upcoming  season, but as I always said a rider of his calibre has to decide on his own when it’s time to stop,” general manager Luca Guercilena told Cycling Weekly.
“After the Tour, we talked about it. In the last part of the Tour, the decision came. It’s clear that we accept his reasoning.”
The 2007 and 2009 Tour winner fell multiple times in the first weeks of the race.
Contador’s grit sets him apart from his rivals, with his ability to attack and shred the peloton bringing him many victories in his career. He searched, but could not find a win in the 2017 Tour.
The Col du Galibier stage proved to be his last big Tour de France attack.
Those watching saw a flash of the former great, but not the entire package. He bridged to the early escape and dropped Nairo Quintana (Movistar), but faded shortly after with Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) riding clear to his first Tour de France stage win in Serre Chevalier.
“Given how [the Tour] went, he must have had a good think about it and decided to stop. It’s his decision,” Guercilena added.
“We had an agreement in place, but the option for him was to always be able to decide when he wanted to stop. Both parties were happy, we were happy with him and he was happy with us, it wasn’t a decision made because he was upset with us.”
Watch: Alberto Contador’s Trek Émonda
Contador, 34, joined the American WorldTour team after riding for teams Tinkoff, Saxo Bank, Astana, Discovery Channel, Liberty Seguros/ONCE.
In addition to the two Tour titles, he also claimed overall victories in the 2008 and 2015 editions of the Giro d’Italia, and 2008, 2012, and 2014 editions of the Vuelta a España.
Contador released a message on social media last week to announce his retirement after the Vuelta.
“I say this happy, without sadness,” he explained. It’s a decision that I have thought very well and I don’t think there is a better farewell than in the home race and in my country.
“I’m sure they will be three wonderful weeks enjoying all your affection, and I’m eager that they come. Greetings, and see you on the road from August 19.”