Contador confirms he’ll target world championships, lists autumn programme
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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Contador confirms he’ll target world championships, lists autumn programme

by VeloNation Press at 12:28 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships
 
Spaniard will do eight big one day events, starting this Sunday and running until Il Lombardia

Alberto ContadorConfirming that he will try to become the world road race champion and thus bounce back from what has been a frustrating year for him, Alberto Contador has today said that he will return to competition on Sunday and do approximately eight events before the end of the season.

The Team Saxo Tinkoff rider has recovered from the physical toil and mental strain of the Tour de France, accepting his fourth place overall there and using that disappointment to motivate himself for the end of the year.

“Almost everyone who wants to arrive well at the worlds does the Vuelta, but I don't think it's impossible to get into top condition,” he said. “I'm training hard, doing a lot of endurance and simulating worlds conditions. You cannot get the rhythm of the Vuelta by training, but I hope to arrive well.”

Contador will make his competitive return in Sunday’s Grand Prix Ouest France in Plouay and believes that he should be in solid form there.

“I have not stopped more than ten days in total [since the Tour],” he explained, dismissing any notion that he is not in shape. “After the Tour I continued training for San Sebastian, then I took a break about five or six days before returning to training. It seems that I have recovered from the stress of the Tour and I'm working to do well until the end of the year.”

After Sunday’s race, Contador will do Paris-Brussels and the GP Fourmies, then travels to Canada for the WorldTour GP Cycliste de Québec and Montréal races. The worlds is next on his schedule, where he says he will likely do the road race only, then he will finish up with Milano – Torino and Il Lombardia.

Sunday is his first big race since the Tour and he emphasises that he will take a little time to sharpen up. “It is my return to racing and despite having been training, the intensity is not the same,” he said. “The goal here is to have a first contact, to pick up the pace for the end of the season, as in Brussels and Fourmies. Where I want to be at a good level is in Canada, thinking about the world championship.

“It is a different program, but it is one that motivates me. I hope to find a good form and reach my best level.”

Passing over the Vuelta, coming to terms with result of the Tour:


Contador won the Vuelta a España twelve months ago and passed up the opportunity to defend his title this time round. He made that choice prior to the Tour de France and while the latter event didn’t go as well as he had anticipated, he avoided the temptation to try to seek some degree of ‘revenge’ by winning again in Spain.

He said that he stands by his decision, saying that allowing his team-mates to also lead the squad is important. “It's a race that I like and that I have really good memories, but I made the decision when planning the calendar,” he said. “We agreed that I would not do it because there are other riders on the team that should also have opportunities after sacrificing themselves for me.

“In addition, with this points system it is important that other riders can score points. The decision was correct, although now I miss it a little, but...why not next year?”

In his absence, one of the riders who dedicated himself to Contador at the Tour, Nicolas Roche, won his first Grand Tour stage and is sitting third overall. Another won today, meaning that they have had opportunities that perhaps they would not have had if Contador were there.

“In so far as my training allows me, I try to follow it [the race], especially my Saxo-Tinkoff teammates,” he said. “They've got two wins with Nicolas Roche and Michael Morkov and we have riders that can be really ahead. It is a very strong team and more wins will come.”

Speaking of wins, Contador has thus far clocked up just one victory this year. His stage win in the Vuelta a San Luis came in his first race of the season and at that point in time, it seemed like many other successes lay ahead. However things didn’t work out that way and after sitting as high as second overall in the Tour de France, his top season goal, he ultimately cracked on the final mountain stage and dropped to fourth overall.

“It has been a different season compared to other years, but I have had a good level,” he said. “I have always been in second, third or fourth place in the races.

“It is true that what is expected of me is the victory and I understand it. I missed that little point which makes you convert good places in wins. But I must be calm, focus on doing well the end of the year and make a good schedule for next year. I must try to convert positions into victories.”

He accepts that he was not at his best in the Tour, but promises to use that experience to sharpen his resolve and his dedication for 2014.

“On the Tour, fourth place was not what I wanted, of course, but I know what the competition is,” he said. “There are times when you can win and some times when you can not.

“Everyone is prepared to give the maximum and this year there has been a man above the rest, Froome. I found myself not quite right, but I gave the maximum, although it was not enough.

“I'll use this result as an extra motivation to try to be stronger next year.”

In the meantime, he knows that one result would really salvage his 2013 season: becoming world champion on September 29th in Firenze.

It’s regarded as having the toughest course for many years and is suited to a rider who can climb. If he arrives there at one hundred percent, Contador could exorcise the disappointment of the Tour by being successful in the hunt for gold.

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