Alberto Contador to retire after Vuelta a Espana 2017

Alberto Contador retires

"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.

Cycling - The 104th Tour de France cycling race - The 22.5-km individual time trial Stage 20 from Marseille to Marseille, France - July 22, 2017 - Trek-Segafredo rider Alberto Contador of Spain on the finish line.

And the 34-year-old, who is a three-time victor of the Vuelta, says the time is right to bow out of the sport.

He also boasts two Tour de France titles, in 2007 and 2009, leaving him in an elite group of riders to have won all three Grand Tours, the others being Jacques Anquetil, Felice Gimondi, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Vincenzo Nibali.

The Vuelta will begin on August 19 in Nimes, France and make its way to Contador's home city, Madrid for a September 10 finale.

Contador is only one of six riders to have won all three Grand Tours, while he was the youngest to achieve the feat.

While the Spanish cyclist initially meant to retire in 2016, he joined Trek-Segafredo for one past year in the saddle, finishing ninth in the 2017 Tour de France.

"I am sure they will be three great weeks, enjoying all your support and I'm looking forward to it". The Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected Contador's claim that his positive test for clenbuterol was caused by eating contaminated meat on a 2010 Tour rest day.

Luxembourg's Andy Schleck was awarded the Tour de France victory, while Michele Scarponi of Italy took the Giro d'Italia title.

Contador never managed to win another Tour de France after his ban, but he did win two more Vueltas in 2012 and 2014 and another Giro in 2015.