Alberto Contador and his wife, Macarena Pescador, are separating after eight years of marriage, with the seven-time Grand Tour winner said to have asked her for a divorce.
The pair have been together for around 20 years, and have a son born in April 2018.
Contador was 17 and just setting out on his cycling career when he met Pescador, who was then aged 15.
The pair eventually married in November 2011, with Pescador at the time supporting her husband in the build-up to case at the Court of Arbitration of Sport that would see him receive a mostly backdated suspension and be stripped of the 2010 Tour de France title due to an adverse analytical finding for the banned steroid, clenbuterol.
The Spanish newspaper ABC reports that Contador, now aged 37, broke the news that the couple had separated to close friends when he was in Madrid on Tuesday for the presentation of the route of next year’s Vuelta.
It added that he has requested a divorce, and that according to sources close to the couple, their marriage had been in trouble for several years after they moved to Lugano in Switzerland.
Said to be a very private person, Pescador, who worked as a nursery schoolteacher, usually kept herself in the background during her husband’s career.
The last photo of the couple together was reportedly taken during a reception in Madrid in 2015, after her husband had won that year’s Giro d’Italia.
Contador retired in 2017 following that year’s Vuelta, where out of contention for the overall title, he won the final mountain stage on the Angliru. He finished his career with three overall wins in that race, and two apiece in both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France.
He now spends his time mostly working with his Alberto Contador Foundation under-23 team and also campaigning for stroke awareness, having almost lost his life to one in 2004.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.