Seven-time Grand Tour winner Alberto Contador is set to retire at the end of the 2016 season, but claims he could return to the peloton next year if his own development team wins a WorldTour licence.
The Spaniard presented his foundation’s youth and U23 teams in Madrid on Monday and teased that he is working to get RH+ Polartec into the professional ranks, which could lead to El Pistolero riding for them in 2017.
But Contador admitted the project would take some serious financing to get it off the ground, quoting a budget of €15m and saying the team would have to be eligible for the Tour de France for him to ride.
“There are two options in my head: to keep the idea of retirement that I expressed a year ago,” Contador said, quoted in El Mundo, “or [ride for] the professional team that we are planning.”
Contador indicated that €15m would be the backing required to simply ride the Tour de France next year, but to have a chance of winning it would require more money.
There will be a space opening up in the WorldTour with Contador’s current team Tinkoff withdrawing at the end of 2016.
“It is a complicated project, great economic support is needed,” he added. “If [it does] not [happen], we will continue with the Foundation.
“We would like to thank the sponsors because I intend to give cycling what cycling has given me to me. The idea is to train people and cyclists. Here come the future figures of Spanish cycling.”