4. Contador enters the finishing straight
February 19 | In the latest Telegraph Cycling Podcast the team turn their attention to Spain, home to some of the early season stage races, after the news that Alberto Contador is in his penultimate year in the sport.
Contador, the two-time Tour de France winner, said this week that he expects to retire at the end of next season. His departure will leave a hole in Spanish cycling, and Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe discuss the state of the sport in Spain and the reasons for the dearth of young stars to replace the four ageing Galácticos: Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Joaquim Rodriguez and Samuel Sanchez.
There is an interview with the director of the Vuelta a España, Javier Guillén, who discusses the Vuelta’s place alongside the other two Grand Tours, the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia. He also talks about his hopes for the brutally tough opening week of this year’s race, and shares his thoughts on the thorny subject of whether the Vuelta should go from three to two weeks.
There is a round-up of all the latest news from the early-season races, including the three in-form sprinters: Mark Cavendish, John Degenkolb and Alexander Kristoff, who are all emerging as potential winners of Milan-San Remo, the first Classic, at the end of March.