Alberto Contador was forced to abandon the brutal ‘Everest’ Gran Fondo in Switzerland, admitting he wasn’t prepared for the event.
Contador, a retired Grand Tour winner who now competes on a variety of climbing challenges for fun, lined up at the Tour des Stations event, hoping to complete the 242km, 8,800m elevation gain course.
This year’s ultrafondo event was dubbed the ‘The Everest,’ as riders climbed to the height of the highest mountain on earth.
But the Spaniard was forced to step off the bike after almost eight hours and 167km, having completed 5,900m of climbing.
Contador, 38, uploaded his ride to Strava and gave some explanation about why he was forced to abandon the mass-participation event: “Crazy day leaving at 4am on the Tour des Stations. It was an ultrafondo for which I was not prepared.
“Better luck next year.”
The Tour des Stations is a notoriously tough event, with distances ranging from the 34km e-bike ride, all the way up to the ‘Everest’ event, touring the ski resorts in the Alps.
This year’s fastest rider was Addy Raphael from Switzerland, who completed the course in nine hours and 27 minutes, while retired Swiss pro Steve Morabito also finished in the top-five, with a time of 10 hours and 19 minutes.
The fastest female finisher was Eva Lindskog from Sweden, with a time of 11 hours and 46 minutes.
Contador, who retired from the peloton in 2017, has since been taking on a number of climbing challenges.
In 2019 Contador completed the 216km Tour des Stations route, totalling 7,000m of altitude gain and breaking his own climbing record for a single day.
But last year he went a step further, briefly holding the Everesting record by climbing 8,800m on a single hill in seven hours and 27 minutes, before he was toppled by Ronan McLaughlin just days later.
Contador will be back on our TV screens during the Vuelta a España, as he forms part of the Eurosport broadcast team during his home Grand Tour.
Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly’s online news output.
Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.
Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.