Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank names Alberto Contador’s team for Vuelta a España
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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank names Alberto Contador’s team for Vuelta a España

by Ben Atkins at 8:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
Danish team all for Spanish rider after his return from suspension

alberto contadorSaxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank has named the team of riders that will support Alberto Contador in his quest to win a second Vuelta a España, which starts on Saturday, August 18th. The Spanish rider, who recently returned from the ban imposed for his positive test for Clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France, won the race in his only previous appearance, in 2008, and is hoping to bounce back from his suspension in style.

Contador’s ban ended on August 4th, and he returned to racing at the Eneco Tour, in Belgium and the Netherlands, where he currently sits in tenth overall.

"We are entering this year's Vuelta a España with one overall goal, and that is to win the race with Alberto Contador,” explained team owner Bjarne Riis. “Alberto has made a solid comeback in Eneco Tour gaining some important race experience, he looked strong and seems ready and well prepared for the last Grand Tour of the season.

"The selection of our roster for the Vuelta of course reflects this clear goal. We have tried to put together a group of riders that can support Alberto throughout the race, both on the flat stages and in the mountains. Rafal [Majka], Sergio [Paulinho], Bruno [Pires], Jesus [Hernandez] and Dani [Navarro] will be our guys for the mountains, and Benjamin, Nicki and Matteo will help protect Alberto on the windy and flat stages. At the same time we have a very experienced group with numerous Grand Tours done. I think it is a very strong lineup, we can field.”

Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank had been built around Contador’s race-winning potential in the last two years, but his retrospective suspension saw the Danish team lose virtually all of its WorldTour points from 2011. The team has struggled to take points in the Spaniard’s absence and, subject to a possible appeal launched by Riis, any that Contador earns in the next two years will also not count.

Nevertheless, the Danish team is putting its resources behind Contador’s bid for a second Vuelta title, although Riis knows that the competition will be fierce.

“I believe Alberto has a great chance of winning the Vuelta, but certainly we are up against some very tough competitors and strong teams,” Riis said. “I foresee an exiting race with great potential for drama and entertainment on the Spanish roads.”

Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank team for la Vuelta a España
Alberto Contador, Jesus Hernandez, Rafal Majka, Daniel Navarro, Benjamin Noval, Sergio Paulinho, Bruno Pires, Nicki Sørensen and Matteo Tosatto

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