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Contador: “Tomorrow will be an important test”

Tinkoff-Saxo and Alberto Contador held a press conference on the first rest day of Vuelta a España after the team had been on a recon ahead of tomorrow’s time trial. Alberto Contador told that he expects to keep the momentum from the previous stages.

“Tomorrow will be a good test to see exactly how my physical condition is. I don’t want to draw wrong conclusions after yesterday’s stage so I’ll wait for tomorrow to reach a verdict on my shape”, says the leader of Tinkoff-Saxo.

Alberto Contador tells that the initial success he has had during the first part of the Spanish Grand Tour has encouraged him and furthered his ambitions.

“I’m now able to say that I will try to win the Vuelta. Another thing is if I have the legs or not. Even after the two mountain stages, I still don’t know it exactly. I have to wait until after the time trial to reach a final verdict. Since the start of the Vuelta, I’ve been focused on taking it day-by-day, but I think I’m getting better and I can say that I will try to win”, Contador adds.
When faced with the question about, who the favorite to win the Vuelta is, Alberto answered:

“The favorites are the same as they were in the beginning, Quintana and Froome, who’s expected to be the strongest in the time trial. But Joaquim Rodriguez and Alejandro Valverde are also in contention. Apart from all the action that we’ve seen so far, there are almost no time differences and the favorites are all very close in the overall classification”.

Alberto Contador won Vuelta a España in 2012. But he doesn’t reckon that he’s stronger than he was in 2012.

“The truth is that I am not better. The difference between now and 2012 is that two years ago there was a particularly strong rider, Joaquim Rodriguez, who always responded to changes of pace and attacked me on the final meters of each stage. We’ve not yet seen mountain stages like those, but I think he was better in 2012”, explains the leader of Tinkoff-Saxo.

Today, before the team’s press conference, the riders, including captain Alberto Contador, went to inspect the route of tomorrow’s time trial.

“When you see the parcours it looks even harder than it seems on paper. The first part is uphill, with some really tough ramps, and then there’s a very fast descent on a very uneven and difficult road. The last part, however, is fast and regular. For sure, it will be really tough”.

The expectations that met Alberto Contador going into the Vuelta were incomparable to those of Tour de France. Taking his injury into consideration, Alberto didn’t have high expectations and he has consequently been able to ride with less pressure – not least from himself.

“I didn’t start the Vuelta with the same expectations as before the Tour and I will continue without excess ambitions. I’ve experienced the affection from all the people supporting me and that’s a reason to come here in itself. There’s certainly not the same pressure on me and I’ve noticed that when there’s a breakaway, for example, I look at the situation from a different point of view, without the same sense of responsibility”, concludes the two-time winner of Vuelta a España.

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