Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) has confirmed he plans to retire at the end of next season, following speculation over his future.
The six-time Grand Tour champion – who also had two wins, at the 2010 Tour de France and 2011 Giro d’Italia, after failing a doping test at the former – will call time on his career after the 2016 season.
And the 32-year-old, who is targeting the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France this year, wants to bow out on a high.
“Physically I’m recuperating well and I’m excited about the team,” he told Spanish newspaper AS, “but the years are going by.
“Next season I’ll be in the peloton, but that will be my last.
“If I enter the Giro or the Tour it means nothing to me to come second, I’m solely looking to win. I’m a non-conformist and victory is the only thing that I’m focused on.”
Contador also re-affirmed plans to target the Giro-Tour double but says he has no plans to add the Vuelta a Espana to his race programme at the end of the year.
Instead, the Spaniard will bid to become the first man to win both of the season’s opening two Grand Tours in the same year since Marco Pantini in 1998.
And, with Contador’s contract with Tinkoff-Saxo due to expire at the end of the season, he also told Spanish radio station Radio Marca he hopes to see out his career with the team.
“I think it has become very clear that racing the Giro and the Tour is our project this year,” said Contador.
“I have the Giro on my mind and have said that since October. There is not the slightest doubt about it.
“I have this season left here at Tinkoff-Saxo, and there are discussions to continue here, or with other teams, but right now, I’d probably stay here.
“It all depends how the season winds up. I don’t see myself having more than a one-year contract.”
El Pistolero did admit, however, that he may be tempted to continue beyond 2016 if he were to suffer a ‘mishap or accident’ in his final season which impacted on him competing in top form.