Contador says Porte is favourite for Pais Vasco finale, ‘but let’s see’
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Saturday, April 06, 2013

Contador says Porte is favourite for Pais Vasco finale, ‘but let’s see’

by VeloNation Press at 9:47 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta al Pais Vasco
 
Spaniard will give it everything in final time trial

Alberto ContadorSitting ten seconds off the race leader Sergio Henao (Sky) after yesterday’s tough penultimate stage, and six seconds behind the pairing of Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Richie Porte (Sky), Alberto Contador has nominated the latter as the favourite for today’s concluding time trial. However he won’t concede defeat, making it clear that he will give it everything in today’s final test and then see how things end up.

“The time differences between us are very small and it'll all depend on how we've recovered,” he said after yesterday’s finish. “Richie Porte has made some impressive time trials this year so he's the favourite but let's see how he feels tomorrow.”

Contador is yet to take his first GC win this year, having started with fourth in the Tour de San Luis, second in the Tour of Oman and third in Tirreno Adriatico. Being a rider who is known for his aggressive racing all season plus his desire to win, he likely expected to have at least one GC success to his credit already.

However he was outridden by the Sky team on the crucial third stage of the race, netting seventh behind Henao, and yesterday conceded time to Porte when the latter jumped clear inside the final two kilometres of the stage to Beasain.

Speaking afterwards, Contador said that the race was a very difficult one because of the conditions. “I'm going to remember this stage for a long time. The weather was so very bad and there have been moments of rain and even snow,” he said.

“I got the cold into the body and once that happens, it complicates the physical condition but at the end we saved the day without too much trouble. Now, I'll try to recover as effectively as possible and wait to see how the race [time trial – ed.] goes.”

Today’s final stage will be run off over 24 kilometres, and is sufficiently long for big time gaps to open up. If he is on a good day he is close enough to aim for the race lead, but will have to overcome Henao, Quintana and, most difficult of all, the Paris-Nice winner Porte in order to do so.

If he does, he’ll have scored an important psychological point against the Sky team.

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