Contador ‘extremely motivated, mentally focussed’ in advance of Tour de France start
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Friday, June 28, 2013

Contador ‘extremely motivated, mentally focussed’ in advance of Tour de France start

by VeloNation Press at 11:15 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Video
 
Video: Spaniard fired up in bid for third title

Alberto ContadorDouble race winner Alberto Contador has said that he believes his team is up to the task of helping him win the 2013 Tour de France, and that he personally is fired up for that goal. The 2007 and 2009 champion will start the race as one of the favourites, although Sky’s Chris Froome is the bookies’ number one favourite and the rider tipped by many as being the main contender.

That likely suits Contador fine, as it takes the pressure off and allows him to get on with the job at hand.

“I have a strong team behind me. A team that can position me well in all terrains and it means a lot to me particularly to know that I have teammates around me on the climbs,” he said, reassured by what is a much stronger lineup than in his 2012 races.

“With this year's route, we'll get to see more attacks than before. There are short mountain stages where you may be tempted to make an early and long attack. But there are also long mountain stages where the field will probably get worn thin from behind.”

Although he is one of the best climbers in the bunch, Contador wants to save energy until later in the Tour and so said that this will affect the way he tackles the Tour. “Hopefully I'm not going to speculate in daring attacks from a long distance,” he said.

“If everything goes as planned, I'll have to ride conservatively at the end of the race [being race leader – ed]. In any case, I'm extremely motivated and mentally focused and ready.”

Contador will have the benefits of having Roman Kreuziger, Michael Rogers and Nicolas Roche by his side. The trio moved to the team over the winter and are part of the efforts by Bjarne Riis to strengthen the team and to increase the support Contador has.

However he also has the backing of previous team-mates such as Sergio Paulinho, who was recently second overall in the Tour of Norway. He states that he is fully committed to the cause and will give everything he can to ensure success.

“This will be my sixth Tour. I've done the Tour the past five years and enjoy my job here as a domistique,” he said. “My job is to protect Alberto in the mountains when it comes to pulling the hard pace. It means a great deal to me that Alberto is doing well. But a victory for him is a victory for the line-up and the rest of the team, and I know it will mean a great deal to all employees of the organization.”

Also fired up is Jesus Hernandez, who has been alongside Contador for several years. “We have worked hard, long and focused for this year's Tour de France,” he said. “I'll be thinking of the long process when I'll dig deep in myself on the slopes in this year's Tour.”

See the video below for more from Contador on this year’s race.


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