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Alberto Contador's retirement marks "end of an era" says Chris Froome

Tour de France and Vuelta champion pays tribute to rival after final race in Shanghai

Alberto Contador’s retirement signifies the “end of an era” for professional cycling, according to Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana champion Chris Froome.

The Team Sky rider was speaking after the 34-year-old Spaniard, one of six men to have won all three Grand Tours, rode the final race of his career at the inaugural Tour de France China Criterium in Shanghai today.

Froome said: "It definitely brings an end to an era with Alberto's retirement," adding that Contador “has been a big rival to me for so many years and in some ways I'm definitely going to miss him, and in some ways I'm not.

"He has animated so many races the last few years and the public are going to miss seeing him race."

Contador’s swansong in a major race came at the Vuelta last month where, on the penultimate day and out of contention for the overall title, he launched an attack on the Angliru to take the final Grand Tour stage victory of his career.

Wearing Trek-Segafredo’s colours for the final time in competition today, Contador finished fourth in the exhibition race, which covered 20 laps of a three-kilometre circuit in the heart of Shanghai.

The race was won by Froome, in the yellow jersey of Tour de France champion, from the runner-up in Paris in July, Rigoberto Uran of Cannondale Drapac.  Team Sunweb’s Warren Barguil was third.

"It was my last race and I really enjoyed it,” Contador said of his efforts today. “I tried to attack, attack, attack.”

He will remain involved in cycling, however, with his Alberto Contador Foundation running Trek-Segafredo’s new under-23 development team which will be managed by his brother Fran, with two-time Giro d’Italia champion Ivan Basso overseeing the sporting side.

> Trek Segafredo sets up development team in partnership with Alberto Contador Foundation

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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FatBoyW | 6 years ago

The "really" moment? 2009 Annecy, I mean Really!? 

FatBoyW | 6 years ago

I'm sorry to say I do not like him. Caught cheating and never put his hands up to it. But for me his TT prowess slipped a notch thereafter. 

yep let's hope it is the end of an era, the era where only cheats won.

don simon fbpe | 6 years ago

Great rider and a really nice guy. I'm sure he has his haterz, but his contribution to cycling will continue for many years with Fundacion Contador. So many people have picked cycling thanks to him, and I think he already has a future grand tour winner in Fundacion Contador.

Gracias por todo, Alberto!

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