• Alberto Contador - talking to the press after winning the 2016 Pais Vasco - shelves retirement plans (AAP)Source: AAP
Alberto Contador has categorically shelved plans to retire at the end of this season and is believed to be close to signing a contract with a new team for 2017.
Sophie Smith

Cycling Central
5 Jun 2016 - 9:51 AM  UPDATED 5 Jun 2016 - 9:56 AM

The 33-year-old has publicly grappled with retirement the past two years, announcing in 2015 it was his final year and then renouncing that in April following victory at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco.

It is understood the champion Spaniard wants a two-year deal and was presented with numerous offers. His current Tinkoff squad is set to fold through want of a sponsor at the end of this season.

Speaking at a Criterium du Dauphine pre-race press conference on Saturday, Contador when pushed for specific details said he couldn’t state much until the official August transfer window opens.

“I really appreciate certain things, in particular the rapport I have with the public, especially through social media. That made me start to think about continuing,” he said in the translated press conference.

“I can definitely say it won’t be my last year.

“I feel good. I felt that if I’d lost even one per cent of my physical ability then my decision would have been different.

“I’ll give it 100 per cent. I’ll be doing the same things that I’ve always done, doing the same work, making the same sacrifices that I have always done ever since my first year as a professional.”

Contador spearheads the Tinkoff team that will begin the 68th edition of the Criterium du Dauphine on Sunday.

The eight-day race serves as a litmus test for the Tour de France next month with a crack field including Contador, defending race champion Chris Froome (Sky) and Richie Porte (BMC) to start.

The race opens with a steep 4km prologue, which could see significant time gaps open on the first day of competition.