Two-time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador will retire from professional cycling next month, the rider announced on Monday.
The Spaniard, who rides for Team Trek-Segafredo, has enjoyed one of the most successful careers in the sport, having won seven Grand Tour titles. Just five other riders have won all three Grand Tour titles - the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta.
Spain's second most successful rider behind five-time Tour winner Miguel Indurain, Contador will bring the curtain down on his career at the Vuelta on home soil.
"I will participate in the next Vuelta a Espana from August 19 and that will be my last race as a professional," the 34-year-old said in a video posted on his Instagram page.
"I say this happy, without sadness. It's a decision that I have thought very well and I don't think there is a better farewell than in the home race and in my country. I'm sure they will be three wonderful weeks."
Glory and controversy
Contador first won the Tour in 2007, aged 24 and followed it up two years later with a second win. But what could come to define his time on the bike for some was the stripping of a his 2010 Tour de France title in 2012.
An appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport was rejected with Contador insisting his positive test for clenbuterol was caused by eating contaminated meat.
But Contador returned to racing and recorded a further two Vuelta wins (three in total) and a second win at the Giro d'Italia in 2015.
rd/pfd (AFP, Reuters)