Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) is known for daring moves that can blow up races in an instant. He famously won his 2012 Vuelta a Espana with a do-or-die attack to Fuente Dé, and a similar break at last year’s Vuelta almost secured him a podium place, and probably gave Nairo Quintana (Movistar) overall victory.
Team Sky directeur sportif Nicolas Portal called Contador ‘unpredictable’, but the Spaniard hopes he can take the yellow jersey in an altogether more predictable manner at the Tour de France this July.
“At the moment, I hope that this Tour will depend on my physical state,” Contador told a room full of media at the Trek-Segafredo hotel in the centre of Dusseldorf. “Evidently, if we have any mishaps then with this route we can make some different tactics but, at this moment, I hope that it won’t depend on a feat but on my physical form.
“I think that it is a Tour where a lot of things can happen. It is perhaps an atypical route in terms of the mountains. The Pyrenees are practically with the Alps, but there are three other mountain stages before. On stage 9 we will pass the first serious mountains where there will be differences. Perhaps it is a more open Tour and one that will be harder to control by one team.”
What exactly Contador’s form is, remains to be seen. Contador has come close to victory four times this season at the Ruta del Sol, Paris-Nice, País Vasco and the Volta a Catalunya. Between those four races, his collective losing margin is barely over a minute, but victory has thus far eluded him. His most recent outing came at the Criterium du Dauphine, where he chose to sit up and not push into the red rather than duke it out for the top spots in the general classification.
Contador says that the more gradual build-up means he is more keen to get going than in the past, and he is confident that he has made the right choice.
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