Spain's two-time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador has pulled out of the upcoming world championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland because he does not feel he can do justice to his place in the team.
Contador was crowned the yellow jersey champion in Paris on July 26 after beating a host of big rivals during the three-week cycling epic, including Luxembourg's runner-up Andy Schleck and American seven-time champion Lance Armstrong.
But Contador, who pulled out of the Tour of Spain last week, has now decided he is not 100 percent race fit.
"After looking back at my season, and given that I haven't raced since the Tour de France, we have decided it's best to give up my place to someone else," Contador said in a press release following talks with Spain's team chief Jose Luis de Santos.
"It's been a long season," added Contador, who won his first Tour in 2007 and went on to win the Tours of Italy and Spain in 2008.
"To get in race condition for the start of the championships would really require a major effort, and the riders who are currently racing the Vuelta (Tour of Spain) would come in with much better condition."
Astana rider Contador, 26, is now expected to race in some unofficial competitions such as criteriums from now until the start of the 2010 season.
© AFP 2009