Tour de San Luis: Contador plays down his chances of overall win
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Monday, January 23, 2012

Tour de San Luis: Contador plays down his chances of overall win

by VeloNation Press at 7:01 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Says he’s still over racing weight after putting on 7.5 kilos after Tour de France

alberto ContadorAlberto Contador has played down any suggestions that he can win his first race of the season, saying that weight gained after the Tour de France means that he won’t be able to compete with the fittest riders on the climbs.

“It is difficult now to already be taking on well-trained riders like Levi Leipheimer and Vincenzo Nibali [2011 winner – ed.]. After the Tour I did nothing. I put on 7.5 kilos,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. “Four of those have been lost during the Saxo Bank training camp in Gran Canaria, but to climb fast, you should be at your ideal weight. The Argentines need not expect too much from me.”

The Spaniard is still awaiting the results of his hearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport. He will line out alongside team-mates Juan Jose Haedo, Lucas Sebastian Haedo, Troels Vinther, Christopher Juul-Jensen and the Italian veteran, Matteo Tosatto.

The seven-day, 2.1 ranked race begins today with a 189.3 kilometre stage from San Luis to Villa Mercedes. A bunch sprint is expected to conclude things, and the same outcome is also anticipated on tomorrow’s 145.3 kilometre race to Juana Koslay.

The next three stages should be the most decisive, with day three ending with a mountain finish on Mirador del Potrero, Thursday’s leg in San Luis being a flat 19.5 kilometre time trial and Friday’s race ending at the top of the Mirador del Sol.

The final two days to Quines and San Luis are expected to be bunch sprints or to possibly go to breakaway riders.

Despite its leader playing down his chances, Contador’s Saxo Bank team has stated that it will be ambitious in the race. “We've put together a very versatile and powerful line-up,” said directeur sportif Philippe Mauduit. “For the sprints we have both Haedo-brothers, and of course they're extremely motivated to perform on home ground . JJ (Haedo) seems very slim and focused.

“Even though it's early in the season, we can't hide the probability of seeing Alberto (Contador) do well on the climbs and on the time trial halfway through the race. Personally, I'm looking forward to be following our two debutants, Troels (Vinther) and Chris (Juul-Jensen) while Matteo (Tosatto) will be leading the battle on the road. The main goal is simply getting a stage win.”

Aside from the Saxo Bank squad, the race also features UCI ProTeams Liquigas Cannondale, Omega Pharma Quick Step, Ag2r La Mondiale, Movistar, as well as Pro Continental teams Androni Giocattoli, UnitedHealthcare, Colnago-CSF Inox, Caja Rural, Andalucia, Farnese Vini Selle Italia, NetApp plus the Continental Christian Watches Ofone lineup.

Amongst the riders taking part are Leipheimer, Tom Boonen, Sylvain Chavanel, Bert Grabsch (Omega Pharma Lotto), Nibali, Elia Viviani, Timmy Duggan, Ted King (Liquigas-Cannondale), Rinaldo Nocentini, Jimmy Casper (Ag2r La Mondiale), Andrey Amador, David Arroyo, Fran Ventoso, Giovanni Visconti (Movistar), Jose Serpa, Emanuele Sella (Androni Venezuela), Andrea Guardini, Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia), Ben Day, Robert Forster (UnitedHealthcare), Mauricio Ardila (Comcel Colombia), Michael Rasmussen, Rasmus Guldhammer and Stefan Schumacher (Christina Watches-Ofone).

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