Vuelta a Espana leader Alberto Contador has been included in Spain's preliminary squad for the 21-28 Septamber UCI Road World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain.
By
AFP

7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:34 PM

Now deep into the Vuelta where he is fending off a resurgent challenger in Chris Froome, Contador had indicated earlier in the week that he would sit out the event on 28 September.

The 254.8km course is made up of 14 laps of a 18.2km circuit and includes two major climbs, one at 4km long, the other 3km. Neither is seriously steep and the course appears to suit punchier riders instead of Grand Tour climbers like Contador.

"The world championship course is not in any way suited to my style and I think other riders who will be able to help more should go," said Contador on Tuesday. "I prefer to give my place up to another rider."

However, Spain selector Javier Minguez said his obligation was to "select the best riders available" ahead of a final attempt to convince Contador to ride.

Minguez will name his final list of nine riders for the road race early next week.

Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez, who sit third and fourth in the Vuelta standings respectively, have also been included.

Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) maintained his 1min 19sec lead over Froome (Sky) on Friday with just two more stages of the Vuelta to go.

The first five days of the UCI Road World Championships will be live-streamed at the Cycling Central website, while the women's and men's road races will be broadcast on SBS ONE and streamed online.