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Alberto Contador riding Spanish CX champs, MotoGP rider joins Movistar – what’s going on?

It's all happening in Spain today ... read on and find out why...

It’s all happening in Spain today, with the news that Alberto Contador will be riding the country’s national cyclo-cross championships next month, while MotoGP rider Aleix Asparargo has been unveiled as Movistar’s final signing ahead of the 2019 season.

You might be forgiven for wondering what is going on in the Iberian peninsula today, given that the period between Christmas and New Year is generally the quietest time of the year for news … but read on, and you’ll find out.

So, first Contador. Rueda Lenticular reports that since the 36-year-old seven-time Grand Tour champion retired last year, he’s been doing a bit of gravel biking – and now he fancies riding the Spanish National Cycle-Cross Championships.

They take place in Pontevedra, Galicia from 11-13 January, and while the website says Contador will take to the start, he is not expected to contest the medals, given that he’ll be starting from the back of the grid.

Which takes us nicely onto Aleix Espargaro, the veteran – despite being aged only 29 – of almost 150 MotoGP races and unveiled today as Movistar’s latest signing.

The UCI WorldTour team said on Twitter: “We’re very happy to be able to count Aleix Espargaro in our ranks for next year. A brave bet on an illustrious name from the MotoGP World Championship, who will wear blue with our WorldTour team next year."

Several of Espargaro’s new team mates welcomed him to the squad, many – including world champion Alejandro Valverde – expressing the hope that he would being his ‘motor’ with him.

It’s probably worth mentioning at this point that today is La Dia de los Santos Inocentes – Holy Innocents’ Day – which in the Hispanic-speaking world is the equivalent of April Fool’s Day.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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