One month after breaking his leg during the Tour de France, Alberto Contador has said that he is fit enough to ride the Vuelta a España, which starts a week on Saturday.
The Tinkoff-Saxo rider, twice a winner of his home Grand Tour, broke the news in a video posted to YouTube. He’s realistic about his prospects should he take to the start in Jerez, however, and will be hunting a potential stage win rather than going all out for a third title.
He said: “Hi all. I've been riding my bike during last ten days and yesterday was the first day I could climb a mountain pass without knee pain, and that excites me, motivates me and led me to take the decision that I will ride the Tour of Spain.
"I know it's a Tour of Spain that I'll have to take in a very different way than I had thought earlier in the season, or as I planned the Tour, but I think it can be very good for me thinking on the end of the season and either to start next year with guaranties, and perhaps in the last week I could be fighting for a stage win.
"Now I'll try to do my best in this last week until the start, see you all in Jerez!"
Three weeks ago, Contador tweeted that as a result of complications in his recovery from his injury, he was unlikely to be able to ride the Vuelta.
Together with Chris Froome of Team Sky, he was one of the two big favourites for the Tour de France when it began in Yorkshire last month, but left the race after crashing on a descent on Stage 10 to La Planche des Belles Filles.
Froome, who is riding the Vuelta and was runner-up in the race in 2011, had crashed out of the Tour five days earlier on the stage to Arenberg-Porte de Hainaut.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.