Contador plays down chances for Liège-Bastogne-Liège, looking forward to a break
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Friday, April 19, 2013

Contador plays down chances for Liège-Bastogne-Liège, looking forward to a break

by VeloNation Press at 1:25 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Liège-Bastogne-Liège
 
“The body feels weak…but I’m here to focus on this race, do the best I can”

Alberto ContadorAlberto Contador appears to be dismissing his own chances for Liège-Bastogne-Liège, suggesting that he is not amongst the list of top contenders for Sunday’s Classic.

The Team Saxo Tinkoff rider spoke of tiredness after the Vuelta al Pais Vasco but opted to ride the Ardennes Classics. He was 33rd in Flèche Wallonne, far off the third place he achieved in 2010, and plays down his prospects as a result.

"As the season has progressed, I've been feeling more and more tired. The body feels a bit weak but Liège is the last day of competition before a break and then I'll initiate the preparation for the Tour,” he said, speaking after riding the final eighty kilometres of Sunday’s route. “But of course, I'm here to focus on this race and do the best I can.”

Asked who he expected to be in contention for La Doyenne, the oldest of the Classics, Contador states Wednesday’s race would give pointers. “Those who have been far ahead in Flèche, especially because it seems that the race will break up at Saint Nicolas and you have to have that top speed, which in my case I do not,” he answered. “The favorites are riders like Dani Moreno, Gilbert, Alexander, Joaquim and many others who also have options. We will have to see how the race goes.”

The Spaniard has not ridden the race since 2010, when he placed ninth. Riding part of the route today was an opportunity to refresh his memory about the route, and also to check out the new climb of Colouster. This takes the place of the La Roche des Faucons ascent, and comes in the final twenty kilometres.

His verdict is that the old course was better, at least for his tastes. “I see a significant difference with the change. The road is open and wide for a long time and with a little wind a team could control the bunch,” he said.

“It will make the group reaching Saint Nicolas much larger than we used to see. I prefer the other version [the previous course] but you never know how the race will develop, and how broken up it will be at the finish.”

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