We prove that any graph excluding *K _{r}* as a minor has can be
partitioned into clusters of diameter at most

Our result is obtained by a new approach to relate the topological

properties (excluding a minor) of a graph to its geometric properties

(the induced shortest path metric). Specifically, we show that

techniques used by Andreae in his investigation of the cops-and-robbers

game on excluded-minor graphs can be used to construct padded

decompositions of the metrics induced by such graphs. In particular, we

get probabilistic partitions with padding parameter *O(r)* and

strong-diameter partitions with padding parameter *O(r ^{2})*
for