Contador insists he has sufficient time to be ready for the Tour de France after Dauphiné TT disappointment
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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Contador insists he has sufficient time to be ready for the Tour de France after Dauphiné TT disappointment

by Shane Stokes at 3:31 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Critérium du Dauphiné
 
“It is not a good period for me because of allergies”

Alberto ContadorFar off his best form in today’s time trial and almost certainly losing any hope of a top three finish in the Critérium du Dauphiné, Alberto Contador has sought to downplay the significance of his 61st place today.

“It was not a good day for me,” he conceded to L’Equipe after losing three minutes 37 seconds to stage winner Tony Martin in the 32.5 kilometre test. “At the start I felt that I didn’t have much power in the legs. I decided to focus more on cadence in the finale. It is not a good period for me because of allergies. Now, I will continue to work and I will take the race day by day.”

Having returned from a ban last year, Contador has often appeared to be some way off his dominant form of 2009. He won last year’s Vuelta a España, wresting the lead from an otherwise dominant Joaquim Rodriguez when the Spaniard had an off day, but otherwise has been quieter than before.

He has clocked up just one win thus far this season and while he cautioned before the Dauphiné that he didn’t expect to win the race, his current GC position of 34th overall is some ways off what he - and others - would have envisaged.

“I think it was obvious for everyone that Alberto was not at his normal high level today,” said Saxo Tinkoff directeur sportif Philippe Mauduit this afternoon. “He had a feeling of lack of energy and it seems like he had an off-day at a very unfortunate time…that is significantly crucial on a time trial like this.

"Now, it looks more than difficult in terms of targeting a top overall result but we'll continue our preparations for the Tour. Naturally, we hope that Alberto will back at his best tomorrow when it' goes down again among the favourites on the uphill finish.”

Whether or not he can bounce back tomorrow, Contador insisted to France Television that he has sufficient time ahead before his big year goal.

“I didn’t have much energy in the legs, but there is still time before my form reaches the top. I hope to be better and better each stage,” he said. “For the Tour de France, there’s still time. I knew that Chris Froome was superior in time trialling.”

The Critérium du Dauphiné continues tomorrow with a 139 kilometre stage from Grésy-sur-Aix to the hors category summit finish of Valmorel.

Contador has previously finished third and second in the Critérium du Dauphiné, netting those placings in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

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