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Contador won’t race Plouay

By Andrew Hood

Tour de France winner Alberto Contador will not race this weekend at the GP Ouest France-Plouay.

According to Astana spokesman Philippe Maertens, Contador has come down with a cold and will not participate in what was expected to be his final major race of the 2009 season.

“He has a cold. He has no voice. He was not on the bike for a week,” Maertens told VeloNews. “It would be useless for him to start.”

“I did not want to reappear after the Tour de France without the possibility of doing a decent race because of this cold, so I preferred not to take the start and recover well,” Contador said in Paris.

Following his dramatic victory in the 2009 Tour, Contador has been participating in several post-Tour criteriums throughout Europe.

He skipped the Clásica San Sebastían in early August and now has pulled the plug on GP Ouest France, a ProTour race in western France.

Contador plans to take a break from Monday 24 until end of September.

“Now I will take the real holiday,” he said, “and then ride a criterium in Belgium on September 6.”

After that, added Contador, he will begin to assess his plans to race the world championship road race.

Despite speculation about Contador’s future, Astana issued a statement last week insisting that it expects the Spanish rider to honor his remaining year of contract with the Kazakh-backed team in 2010.