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Valverde: Doping ban hurt Contador's Vuelta hopes

 Spanish cyclist Movistar Team Alejandro Valverde, left, crosses the line beside Spain La Vuelta cyclist Katusha's Team Joaquin Rodriguez, from Spain,...
 Spain La Vuelta Cyclist Saxo Bank's Team Alberto Contador, from Spain, right, signs autograph before to start the seventh  stage, 164.2 kilometers (1...

Spain Vuelta Cycling

Spanish cyclist Movistar Team Alejandro Valverde, left, crosses the line beside Spain La Vuelta cyclist Katusha's Team Joaquin Rodriguez, from Spain,...

Spain Vuelta Cycling

Spain La Vuelta Cyclist Saxo Bank's Team Alberto Contador, from Spain, right, signs autograph before to start the seventh stage, 164.2 kilometers (1...

Alejandro Valverde says the layoff from a doping ban has affected Alberto Contador's chances of winning the Spanish Vuelta.
Contador returned to competition earlier this month after being banned since February for testing positive for clenbuterol en route to winning the 2010 Tour de France, a title he was subsequently stripped of.
Valverde says his fellow Spaniard "is still finding his rhythm" and "we can all see he's a little nervous, attacking when he shouldn't be attacking."
Valverde believes Sky cyclist Christopher Froome of Britain is favorite to win Wednesday's time trial, which Contador will also be eyeing as an opportunity to make time up on overall leader Joaquin Rodriguez.
But even Froome, who was runner-up at the Tour, seems "a little drained," according to Valverde.


Updated : 2021-04-16 15:47 GMT+08:00