Motivated Contador clear about significance of today’s stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco
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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Motivated Contador clear about significance of today’s stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco

by VeloNation Press at 5:43 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta al Pais Vasco
Steep finale likely to shake up overall classification

Alberto ContadorAfter two days of group finishes, today’s third stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco will be a more decisive one, with the tough finale to the stage certain to shake things up.

The last 40 kilometres of the stage features one third category and two second category climbs, with the uphill finish of the Alto de la Lejana rising 500 metres and ramping up to 21% inside the final minute of racing.

It’s tough enough to break the race apart, and one of those who will be in contention for the win and the leader’s jersey will be Team Saxo Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador.

Currently sitting thirteenth overall and on the same time as the overall leader Francesco Gavazzi (Astana), Contador said after yesterday’s stage that his attention was focussed on avoiding problems. Today, though, the emphasis will shift to moving forwards and chasing what would be his second victory of the year.

“It will be a stage where we'll see the condition of the favourites for the overall win,” he said, being clear about its significance. “The uphill finish is short and steep, having the character of one of the spring classics more than a real mountain finish.”

His directeur sportif Philippe Mauduit believes that the outcome will be vital to the final overall classification in the race, and thus things must go correctly. “[The] stage is far more demanding and a thrilling finale is waiting on the steep uphill finish. To succeed in the overall, we have to be up among the best.”

Contador showed his hunger on stage one of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, attacking on the downhill which led to the finish. That move didn’t work, but it did serve to further distance riders who had been delayed by a crash at the top of the climb.

The Spaniard wants an overall victory at this point in the season, having been frustrated in the races he has competed in thus far. He was fourth overall in the Tour de San Luis, then a frustrating second to Chris Froome (Sky) in the Tour of Oman.

He tried to win Tirreno-Adriatico but was caught out on the penultimate stage and had to be content with third overall there.

As a rider who always wants to win the races he competes in, victory in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco is big target for him. Today’s stage will be an important part of chasing that goal.


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