Alberto Contador: “It's not important for me whether I finish second or tenth”
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Monday, July 15, 2013

Alberto Contador: “It's not important for me whether I finish second or tenth”

by Ben Atkins at 6:03 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Acknowledges that Chris Froome is on another level but pledges to try to take his opportunity

alberto contadorAlberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) is vowing to do everything he can to beat Maillot Jaune incumbent Chris Froome (Team Sky) in the final week of the Tour, but acknowledges that the British rider is currently on another level. The two-time Tour winner currently sits in third place, 4’25” behind Froome after the Mont Ventoux stage; he is just eleven seconds behind second place Bauke Mollema (Belkin), but says he wants the British rider’s position, not the Dutchman’s.

“My goal is to win but it is true that Froome is at a level above everyone else, and I can't beat him face to face but we expect a very demanding final week with more tactical options because there are linked climbs and it's not important for me whether I finish second or tenth,” Contador said on the race’s second rest day. “There is a certain stage where I want to see what happens and it could be a good day to try to take my chance. The rest will be based on the race development but if I see an opportunity I'll take it, I'll try.

Many teams in the race have allowed Team Sky to dictate terms, which has allowed Froome to ride the race that he wants, but one rider in particular has caught Contador’s eye as someone who’s likely to mix things up in the final week.

“I don't know what ambitions everyone has but there is a rider that particularly can play a good role: [Movistar’s Nairo] Quintana. We'll see if we can benefit from any situation thanks to him and for the rest, maybe in some stages their behaviour can help to control the race.”

Just three seconds behind Contador is Saxo-Tinkoff teammate Roman Kreuziger, who has been at the Spanish rider’s side in all of the tough stages of the race, with those three seconds conceded in the Mont-Saint-Michel time trial.

“Roman is being a very important rider to me, as in Ax 3 Domaines stage,” said Contador. “He is at a high level, well-positioned overall and is a card we have for the last week and we must play it at the right time.”

Contador won last year’s Vuelta a España, finishing more than ten minutes clear of Froome, who could only manage fourth. His victory was based on a long-distance breakaway, in which he seized the race lead from Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha), but knows that the 2013 Tour de France is an entirely different race.

“There are two important differences,” Contador explained. “One, that the leader is further away and that makes it far more difficult, and the other is that face to face he has always been stronger, while in the Vuelta we matched each other well.”

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