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Regarding the parcours, everyone is talking about Froome, Nairo and me, but I think that there’s another favourite and that’s Valverde because he was very strong during the Tour and at the Vuelta he has more options."

Photo: Sirotti




19.08.2016 @ 17:46 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

One day ahead of the start of the third and final Grand Tour of the season, the Vuelta a España, three-time race winner, Alberto Contador, faced questions from the press. 
Your come to the Vuelta with three victories, how does that make you feel coming into the race?
 I’m calmer now after three victories. That is incredible to me and that allows me to relax. For sure if I can, I will look for a fourth victory but we will see, and we will go day by day and see if that’s possible.
After the Tour, do you think that you have some advantage over the Tour competitors who raced more than you?No, because when I abandoned the Tour I was in optimal form. I was penalised because the crashes and the bruising meant that I had to stop riding. I started again maybe a little bit before the doctors told me to, but it wasn’t real training, just riding. My first proper training after the Tour was San Sebastian and Burgos, so I probably have less preparation for this Vuelta, and maybe less than other years. I don’t think I have an advantage.
Froome and Quintana say you’re the main favourite, and the pressure is on you. Do you agree?
I don’t think so and I don’t believe this. I can rest assured that this race is already in my palmares. I’m sure that they are looking for their first Vuelta title. Froome has been on the podium I think three times before now, and he has a very strong team. And since the Tour he has the tranquillity to rest – I’m sure he knew he’d come here from the beginning. For Nairo it’s the same, since the last day of the Tour, we’ve heard nothing about him and he’s been resting and recovering for La Vuelta. I’m sure both of them will be here in optimal condition. For me I will look for a positive situation on the race, and we will see what happens but Froome and Quintana have stronger teams than me and we will see during the race if it’s under control or not.
People have said the parcours is better for you than any other favourites. What do you think about that?
Regarding the parcours, everyone is talking about Froome, Nairo and me, but I think that there’s another favourite and that’s Valverde because he was very strong during the Tour and at the Vuelta he has more options. He has lots of finals very suitable for him, also with time bonuses. Also, he knows how to win the Vuelta a España. The parcours is better for him than for me. I have to think that it’s a good parcours for me as it is the parcours that we have ahead of us. But the last time trial, for example, is much better for Froome.
How does the victory in Burgos prepare you?
A victory always gives you confidence, but the day after the victory you must start from zero again and continue working. It’s good for the team and for everybody, but here the race is much longer, the rivals are different and we have a lot more stages than Burgos so we start from zero.

Will we see the typical Alberto riding, or will you maybe use another tactic for this Vuelta?

It’s complicated to answer this as we have to take it as it comes. This race is very long and there are other teams that can control the race better than us. Also, it’s difficult to change your tactics each day, but we will have to see as we go what to do and to decide in the moment.
What do you expect from tomorrow’s time trial and what do you think the differences will be between other teams?
 I don’t want to think of differences, I want to think about the time trial and getting the maximum out of it. Every rider on the team is very motivated and wants to give their all – we will see what the result is. I hope that the differences will be good for us.
Is this the moment to speak about your future?
No. At this moment I am a rider for Tinkoff. Tinkoff is my team and I will give 100% for this team. The other reason is that it’s the last big tour in this jersey, so the best thing is to do my maximum for this team. Next year will be another story and time for talking about the future will come.



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