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Alberto Contador to retire from cycling after Vuelta a Espana

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Contador to retire after Vuelta a Espana (0:43)

34 year-old Spaniard Alberto Contador, winner of two Tour de France titles and seven 'Grand Tour' crowns overall, announced that the upcoming Vuelta a Espana will be his last race as a professional cyclist. (0:43)

Alberto Contador has announced he will retire from professional cycling following the Vuelta a Espana.

The 34-year-old Spaniard, one of only six riders to have won the Tour de France, Vuelta and Giro d'Italia in their careers, confirmed the news in a video message on Instagram.

He said: "I'm doing this video to inform you about two things. One is that I will be participating in the next Vuelta a Espana, from August 19, and the second is that will be my last race as a professional cyclist.

"I'm saying this happy, I'm not saying it with sadness. It's a decision I've thought about very well and I don't think there is a better farewell than in my home race, in my country.

"I'm sure they will be three fantastic weeks, enjoying all of your affection, and I can't wait. Greetings and see you on the road from August 19th."

The three-week-long Vuelta begins in Nimes, France, on Aug. 19 before finishing on Sept. 10 in Madrid -- just a few miles from Contador's birthplace in Pinto.

Contador is a three-time winner of the Vuelta, sealing victories in 2008, 2012 and 2014, while he was also Giro champion in 2008 and 2015.

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.

Contador also finished first in the 2010 Tour de France but was later stripped of that title -- plus his 2011 Giro crown -- and banned for two years after testing positive for clenbuterol. Contador, who returned to racing in 2012, claimed he failed the test after eating contaminated meat.

Luca Guercilena, general manager of Contador's Trek-Segafredo team, said in a statement following the Spaniard's announcement on Monday: "It has been an honour to work with such a great champion.

"It was great to have him in the team, even if it was only for one season, and we will keep giving it our all to help him to achieve a big result in his last Vuelta a Espana and it goes without saying we wish him the very best for his future afterwards."