Contador pulls out of Beijing race with injury

MILAN (AP) Alberto Contador will miss the season-ending Tour of Beijing with a knee injury, ensuring that fellow Spaniard Alejandro Valverde will finish the season as the world’s top-ranked cyclist.

Contador crashed in the final 250 meters of Sunday’s Il Lombardia, allowing Valverde – who finished second – to leapfrog his rival in the WorldTour standings.

On Monday, Contador said ”ending the year like this is something I don’t like … but I have to focus on my knee.”

The reigning Spanish Vuelta champion adds that ”I want to stop and make sure that it’s in good condition before I begin preparing for 2015.”

Valverde, who has also pulled out of the Tour of Beijing, has 686 points to Contador’s 620.

Australia’s Simon Gerrans is third but cannot overtake the Spanish duo.