Alberto Contador will headline Team Tinkoff’s roster at the Clasica de San Sebastian in Spain on Saturday, making his return to racing after withdrawing from the Tour de France with injury and illness.
Contador abandoned the Tour during stage nine after crashing twice in the race’s opening days, and then suffering from an overnight fever as the event hit the Pyrenees. Prior to the Grand Départ, Contador had ranked among the favourites for the overall win alongside eventual victor Chris Froome (Sky).
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After resting up and then returning to training, Contador says that he feels in good shape for Saturday’s one-day WorldTour race.
Contador says that he is “pretty good but not perfect yet. Of course, there is no comparison with how I was in the Tour, but I still don’t do any stretching in order not to risk a relapse. Otherwise I’m already almost back to normal.”
The 33-year-old is not expecting an easy ride in the 220.2-kilometre San Sebastian, saying: “It is a very demanding race where riders coming from the Tour always have an edge in their form, which makes a difference. It will be difficult to be at their level, but it will be good in order to pick up pace.”
British rider Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) goes into the race as defending champion. After placing fourth at the Tour de France and claiming the white jersey of best young rider, Yates is evidently in good shape and will be one of the riders to watch in the hilly race.
Also present are Tour overall top 10 riders Richie Porte (BMC), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Daniel Martin (Etixx-QuickStep).
Contador will be joined on the Tinkoff team by Roman Kreuziger, Oscar Gatto, Jésus Hernández, Sergio Paulinho, Evgeny Petrov, Ivan Rovny and Yuri Trofimov.
After San Sebastian, Contador is intending to ride in the Vuelta a Burgos (August 2-6) and then on to the Vuelta a España (August 20 to September 11).