Alberto Contador has confirmed in a surprise statement that he will ride this year’s Vuelta a Espana.
Contador had ruled himself out of his home Grand Tour last month after initially struggling to recover from the broken shin bone which forced him to withdraw from the Tour de France, but on Thursday morning, he posted a video on Twitter confirming he would ride.
A statement from the two-time Tour and Vuelta winner on the Tinkoff-Saxo website said: "I've been riding the bicycle for the last 10 days and yesterday was the first day I could climb a mountain pass without knee pain.
"That excites me, motivates me and has led me to make the decision to run the Tour of Spain.
“I know it's a Tour of Spain I'll have to do in a very different way than I had thought earlier in the season, or as I planned the Tour de France, but I think it can be very good considering the end of season and to start next year with guarantees."
Contador's return further boosts what looks like being an exciting field for cycling’s third Grand Tour, with Team Sky's Chris Froome targeting the race following his own Tour injuries, while Giro d'Italia winner Nairo Quintana (Movistar) also plans to take part along with the likes of Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha).
The Vuelta starts with a team time trial in Jerez de la Frontera on Saturday 23 August.