Alberto Contador on stage twenty of the 2015 Giro d'Italia. Photo: Graham Watson

Nationality: Spanish
Date of birth: December 6, 1982
Height: 176cm
Weight: 62kg
Team: Tinkoff
Previous teams: Astana (2009-10), Discovery Channel (2007), Liberty Seguros/Astana (2006), Liberty Seguros (2004-5), ONCE-Eroski (2003)
Twitter: @albertocontador

Alberto Contador is one of an elite group of cyclists that have won all three Grand Tours: the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España, and consequently is ranked as among the current world’s best three-week stage racers alongside Chris Froome, Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana.

His strengths lie in his climbing ability, strong performances in time trials and tactical nous – the perfect combination for a stage racer.

The Spaniard has won two editions of the Tour de France (2007, 2009), two Giro d’Italia victories (2008, 2015) and three wins in his home tour, the Vuelta a España (2008, 2012 and 2014). He can also count victories in some of the biggest week-long stage races among his impressive palmares: including Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour of the Basque Country.

The Tinkoff rider now appears likely to ride into 2017, despite earlier stating that he would retire at the end of the 2016 season.

A shadow was cast over Contador’s career during the 2010 Tour de France when he tested positive for clenbuterol. He maintained his innocence, but a protracted anti-doping case ultimately saw the Spaniard stripped of the 2010 Tour and 2011 Giro titles, and all other race wins from July 2010 to February 2012.

Alberto Contador career profile

Alberto Contador has been touted as the most talented stage racer and all-round talent of his generation. In four years, the Spaniard won five Grand Tours – including three Tours de France – a remarkable achievement for such a young rider.

Contador is only the fifth rider in history – and the first Spaniard – to have won all three major Tours. Contador is best known as a climber, with victories on the Angliru in Spain and Plateau de Beille in France in his palmarès. Contador’s win in the 2007 Tour came after Dane Michael Rasmussen was kicked out of the event.

22 January 2005 7th Tour Down Under Stage 05 : Willunga - Willunga 1st CONTADOR Alberto (ESP) Liberty Seguros Wurth, 2nd SANCHEZ Luis Leon (ESP) Liberty Seguros Wurth Photo : Yuzuru SUNADA

January 2005, Tour Down Under, CONTADOR Alberto, Liberty Seguros Wurth, Photo : Yuzuru SUNADA

The Spaniard handled the pressure of leading a major Tour for the first time in his career and fended off Australian Cadel Evans in the final time trial for the overall win.

Barred from racing the Tour in 2008 because of the 2007 scandals in Astana – before he joined the squad – Contador’s victory in the Giro came despite virtually no pre-race training and a last-minute warning he would be racing.

His win in the Vuelta a España that year was more widely expected, but confirmed him as the strongest three-week stage racer in the world.

Contador remained with Astana in 2009, where he had Lance Armstrong as a teammate. The relationship between the two riders came to a head during the 2009 Tour de France, where Contador felt he was isolated by a team rallying behind the Texan. Yet he still managed to win the Tour for a second time in the face of overwhelming pressure and internal fraction.TOUR DE FRANCE - STAGE TWENTY

In 2010, Contador was undisputed leader of his Astana team at the Tour after Armstrong’s departure to RadioShack. Contador clinched his third overall Tour victory despite not winning a stage and being challenged closely by Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank).

A week after Contador won the 2010 Tour with Astana, he announced that he would be leaving the team. Bjarne Riis then confirmed in early August that he had signed Contador to the Saxo Bank team for the 2011 season.

In September 2010 news broke that Contador had been provisionally suspended from competition for failing a test for clenbuterol during the Tour de France. He was cleared by the Spanish cycling federation in February 2011 and promptly won the Tour of Murcia after taking two stages.

On Monday, February 6 2012, the Court of Arbitration for Sport handed Contador a back-dated two-year ban for testing positive for clenbuterol which expired on August 5, 2012.

Alberto Contador Giro 2011

Alberto Contador Giro 2011

Contador came back from his ban to win the 2012 Vuelta a España overall, followed by a win in Milan-Turin.

A relatively quiet year in 2013 was followed by a season in which Contador returned to peak form. Despite being forced to withdraw from the 2014 Tour de France due to crash injuries, Contador made a remarkable recovery to take control in the Vuelta a España, beating Chris Froome to victory.

He followed that up with overall victory in the 2015 Giro d’Italia, officially his second title after having his 2011 victory annulled due to his doping ban. That victory was a part of an ambitious double by Contador, who aimed to be the first rider since Marco Pantani in 1998 to win the Giro and Tour in the same year.

Alberto Contador on stage 20 of the 2014 Tour of Spain

Alberto Contador on stage 20 of the 2014 Tour of Spain

Things didn’t quite pan out though, with Contador looking well off the pace as Froome soared to his second victory at the Tour.

Before the start of the 2016, Contador had already stated his intention to retire at the end of the season, with one last crack at the Tour de France on the cards.

Some excellent form seemed to counter his mindset though, with second placed finishes at the Volta a Ciclista a Catalunya and Paris-Nice before an overall victory at the Tour of the Basque Country. Contador then implied that he would consider going on racing for another year.

Alberto Contador at the 2016 Tour of the Basque Country

Alberto Contador at the 2016 Tour of the Basque Country (Watson)

Alberto Contador results

2016
Volta ao Algarve; stage five
Paris-Nice; second overall
Volta a Ciclista a Catalunya; second overall
Tour of the Basque Country; stage six
Tour of the Basque Country; overall

2015
Ruta del Sol; stage three
Giro d’Italia; overall
Route du Sud; stage three

2014
Tour of the Algarve; stage four
Tirreno-Adriatico; stage four
Tirreno-Adriatico; stage five
Tirreno-Adriatico; overall
Tour of the Basque Country; stage one
Tour of the Basque Country; overall
Vuelta a España; stage 16
Vuelta a España; stage 20
Vuelta a España; overall

2013
Tour of San Luis; stage six

2012
Tour of San Luis; stage three (annulled)
Tour of San Luis; stage five (annulled)
Tour of San Luis; mountains classification (annulled)
Vuelta a España; stage 17
Vuelta a España; overall
Milan-Turin

2011
Tour of Murcia; stage two (annulled)
Tour of Murcia; stage three (annulled)
Tour of Murcia; overall (annulled)
Giro d’Italia; stage nine (annulled)
Giro d’Italia; stage 16 ITT (annulled)
Giro d’Italia; overall (annulled)

2010
Paris-Nice; stage four
Paris-Nice; overall
Volta ao Algarve; stage three
Volta ao Algarve; overall
Vuelta a Castilla y Leon; stage four ITT
Vuelta a Castilla y Leon; overall
Tour de France; overall (annulled)

2009
Tour de France; stage four TTT
Tour de France; stage 15
Tour de France; stage 18
Tour de France; overall
Paris-Nice; stage six
Paris-Nice; stage one
Tour of the Basque Country; overall
Tour of the Basque Country; stage three
Tour of the Basque Country; stage six
Volta ao Algarve; overall
Volta ao Algarve; stage four
National time trial championships

2008
Giro d’Italia; overall
Vuelta a España; overall
Vuelta a España; stage
Vuelta a España; stage
Tour of the Basque Country; overall
Tour of the Basque Country; stage
Tour of the Basque Country; stage
Tour of Castille y Leon; overall
Tour of Castille y Leon; stage
Tour of Castille y Leon; stage

2007
Tour de France; overall
Tour de France; young riders’ white jersey
Tour de France; stage
Paris-Nice; overall
Paris-Nice; young riders’ classification
Paris-Nice; stage
Paris-Nice; stage
Tour of Castille y Leon; overall
Tour of Castille y Leon; stage
Tour of Valencia, stage

2006
Tour of Switzerland; stage
Tour de Romandie; stage

2005
Tour de Romandie; stage
Tour of Basque Country; stage
Catalan Week; stage
Catalan Week; overall
Tour Down Under; stage

2003
Tour of Poland; stage

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