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September 26, 2017

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Contador to withdraw from 'pointless' journey to Beijing

PARIS -- Chinese fans hoping to see five-time Grand Tour champion Alberto Contador race in the Tour of Beijing are in for a major disappointment as the Spaniard is unlikely to travel halfway around the world for a "pointless" event.

An International Cycling Union (UCI) rule states that the World Tour (elite) points from a rider returning from a doping ban do not count for two years.

Contador won the Vuelta (Tour of Spain) on Sunday in his second race back after he completed a suspension following a positive test for the banned anabolic agent clenbuterol on the 2010 Tour de France.

He was scheduled to take part in the Oct. 9-13 Tour of Beijing but his Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank team manager Bjarne Riis said the star rider would not start the race as it did not carry any World Tour points for the team.

"It makes no sense for Alberto Contador to promote their race if we are not getting anything back from it," Riis was quoted as telling Danish website

"He will be a huge name over there yet he cannot even score points. It makes no sense. Why should he go there? I cannot see why," the Dane added.

Last year, Contador contributed more than two thirds of his team's points tally to help them stay on the World Tour.

Next on Contador's agenda is the world championships in the Netherlands later this month, where the Spaniard will mark his return to the event for the first time since 2008 with a tilt at both the road race and individual time trial titles.

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