Contador hails ‘good day’ for Team Saxo Tinkoff in Tour de France team time trial
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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Contador hails ‘good day’ for Team Saxo Tinkoff in Tour de France team time trial

by VeloNation Press at 2:20 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Spaniard pleased with fourth place, says he’s getting over his crash injury

Alberto ContadorHis team finished outside the top three of the time trial but in netting fourth and conceding just six seconds to the Team Sky squad plus its GC contenders Chris Froome and Richie Porte, Alberto Contador reported himself satisfied with Team Saxo Tinkoff’s showing today.

The Danish squad covered the 25 kilometre distance in a time of 26 minutes 5 seconds, nine seconds away from the winning time of Orica GreenEdge.

“It was a good day for us,” said a relieved Contador afterwards. “We were very strong, we gave 100 percent and this is most important in team time trial. Okay, it is always better to be in front in the general classification but five, six, ten seconds is nothing for the next two and half weeks.

“The most important thing is to recover well for tomorrow and in the next three days, to pay attention all the time to the different problems [such as crashes – ed.] that you have in the first week.

The team has traditionally not been one of the strongest in the group race against the clock, but the signings of former world time trial champion Michael Rogers, Roman Kreuziger and Nicolas Roche have added some firepower and helped ensure a solid time today.

Roche had hoped for the team to win the test, both as a goal in itself and also because such a triumph would have put him into the yellow jersey.

He ultimately finished the day ninth overall, nine seconds behind Orica GreenEdge’s Simon Gerrans.

Contador and the team had a setback, in that Benjamin Noval crashed when he clipped a spectator’s camera. When asked about it, the Saxo Tinkoff leader said afterwards that he wasn’t initially aware of the issue.

“I don’t know anything because my radio was broken. Then when I was on the bus they told me that he had a crash, then he had a problem in the final with the public,” he said. “I think that now he has gone to the hospital. It is very, very important for me that he can go tomorrow in the start.”

According to the team, Noval didn’t suffer any fractures, but he tore the tendon in his left index finger, thus causing serious pain. It said that this pain would likely affect his abilities in the race, and that surgery might be needed after the Tour ends.

Looking at the overall position, Contador is nine seconds back and just six behind Team Sky’s Chris Froome and Richie Porte. He said he was happy “because the team has given 100 percent and that allows us to continue with all options on the classification. We are only at the fourth stage and much of the Tour remains. After the crash [on day one – ed.], I feel better and better every day and while the muscles of my left leg still bother me, I hope to arrive in the Pyrenees in perfect condition.”


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