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Contador embarking on the Giro-Tour double: “In the heat of the race you can’t ponder, I’ll be 100% focused on the Giro”

Tinkoff-Saxo captain Alberto Contador spoke to the press on the eve of the Giro d’Italia after having made the final on-bike adjustments together with his squad on the opening TTT parcours.

Tinkoff-Saxo’s team captain Alberto Contador took on Friday the last training ride before the start of this year’s Giro. The session took place on the course of the team-time trial, where he, together with his squad, tested the material for tomorrow’s 17.6km stage.

Later, Tinkoff-Saxo and Contador held a press conference, where the former winner noted that he was motivated to the maximum and would start with great confidence in an effort to pursue the Giro-Tour challenge. However, he stressed that now is the time to “concentrate a hundred percent on the Giro” before thinking about the Tour.

Alberto, from your perspective, how do you see the Giro and the Tour right now?

“I’m equally motivated for the Giro and the Tour, I give the same importance to both because for me the two are only one thing”

Regarding your opponents, who do you fear the most and why?

“In the end, they are all the same, if we talk about Porte, Uran and Aru. I put them all on the same level. Richie has been amazing in the beginning of the season, but Uran and especially Aru have had a preparation tailored for the Giro”

In the first part of the season the team did not have very good results. What does Tinkov want for this race?

“During the last nine years, whenever I’ve been in a big tour, I have had a lot of responsibility and that motivates me. Oleg Tinkov surely wants to win, but I want it just as much”

Where do you expect to be attacked in this Giro?

“No, I think I should be the one to attack. In the end, it’s the race that affects your tactics depending on the classification, but initially I’ll have to attack.”

What is your opinion on the long time trial and the Colle delle Finestre?

“The time trial is really hard. After seeing it, I think you must use your energy wisely because the route has no resting points. It will be a crucial and very important day in the Giro. As for Colle delle Finestre, two things can happen. It can be a quiet day where I’ll defend myself or it can become an important moment to go for the win. It is a very nice climb, very hard and I have very good memories of it”

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Can you compare your squad to those of your rivals? Do you miss some riders, like Jesus Hernandez?

“I can talk about my team because I know everything about it, but I don’t know the other teams in detail. We have three riders of great quality and experience for the mountains in Basso, Rogers and Kreuziger, two multipurpose riders in Rovny and Paulinho and three for the flat parts in Boaro, Chris Juul and Tosatto. I have a great squad and I am very happy. It is true that Jesús is not here, but you cannot be in every race”

Why have you waited so long to try the Giro-Tour double?

“Mainly because in the past years the motivation for the Tour completely fullfilled me, but now maybe the Tour alone doesn’t motivate me a hundred percent. The double is something new and it will always motivate me more”

Facing the Tour after the Giro, will that change your strategy in some way or are you just thinking about the Giro?

“I could say yes, but when you are at the race you cannot ponder over anything. In a big tour you don’t have many tactical options and I will be fully focused on the Giro, then I’ll have time to concentrate on recovering ahead of the Tour and thinking about it”

Has the crash in last year’s Tour changed anything when thinking about the double?

“It has not changed me at all, but I can say that it had a great influence on my decision to do the Giro and Tour. Because after the fall I went to the Vuelta a España not at my full strength but in the end I got a great victory. It gave me confidence to try this”

Alberto, you are very popular in Italy. How have you changed as a rider and as a man since the last time you rode the Giro?

“I have not changed much except that I have more experience and have tried other situations. Perhaps what’s changed since then is that my shape and my tests are better now than in the past. And about Italy, what I can say? Only thanks, thanks and thanks. Everybody encourages me and it’s always a pleasure to be here because I know I will enjoy being here with these people”

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