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Contador to take part in Ardennes classics

Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador attends the presentation of the itinerary of the 2013 Tour de France cycling race in Paris October 24, 2012
Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador attends the presentation of the itinerary of the 2013 Tour de France cycling race in Paris October 24, 2012

PARIS (Reuters) - Alberto Contador will ride in the Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege one-day races this week after considering skipping them because of fatigue, the double Tour de France champion said on Monday.

"(My team) Saxo Tinkoff wanted me to be there and these are races everybody likes to take part in, even if to prepare for the Tour de France it would have been better to skip them," the Spaniard said in a statement.

"But it's only one more week of competition (...) Then I'll take some holidays before starting my preparation for the Tour."

Saxo-Tinkoff leapt from 13th to ninth in the World Tour rankings with Czech Roman Kreuziger's win in the Amstel Gold Race classic on Sunday but Contador's presence in the remaining Ardennes classics is a sponsor's dream.

The Spaniard, who started his season in January at the Tour de San Luis (Argentina) and whose main goal is to win the Tour in July, has the qualities to go for victory in both hilly races. He finished third in the Flech Wallonne in 2010.

The Fleche Wallonne will be held on Wednesday and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, cycling's oldest classic one-day race, on Sunday.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Justn Palmer)

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