Alberto Contador has signed a contract extension with Tinkoff-Saxo until the end of 2016, with owner Oleg Tinkov confirming his star rider has chosen to retire after next season.
Contador was reported to have said 2016 will be his final season and the rider now admits this stipulation was key when negotiating his new contract with the team.
Tinkov said in a press release: “I’m very happy that Alberto will lead Tinkoff-Saxo in 2016 as well, because I truly believe he is the best cyclist in the world and I am convinced he will continue to be so for a few more years.
“Unfortunately, he decided he would retire at the end of next year, which means he will race with my team for two full seasons. I would have, obviously, preferred him to stay longer but that was his personal decision.”
Contador said it was important to sort the deal early in the season, so as not to be left to choose an alternative option later on.
“It is true that it was important for 2016 to have these guarantees [for retirement] and for that reason I am very happy to have closed the deal,” he said.
“It is already five years that I have been working with Bjarne Riis and the possibility to continue for another year is satisfying.”