Impatient Contador can't wait for training camp to start
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Impatient Contador can't wait for training camp to start

by Bjorn Haake at 4:00 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Alberto Contador is so eager to defend his Tour de France title this year that he is impatiently awaiting the Astana training camp in Calpe, Spain, from January 14 to 24. His racing program will begin with Volta al Algarve. Just before camp, he gave his thoughts on his season, his form and his team.

Contador is looking forward to better temperatures in Calpe than what he had back home in the center of the country, where storm front Daisy was holding many European places hostage with cold temperatures, snow and ice last week. "I expect us to be able to do a good block of training." He also thinks the initial quirks will be worked out. "We're going to be there for a total of 11 days and things will go better than in the last training camp at Pisa, where it was all a little less organized."

Contador also wants to see the status of his peers, as they are a crucial part of his Tour defense. "I'm eager to see the level of all the riders, I'm motivated by them, I'm fully confident in the work that they're doing and I believe that it's going to do a lot of good."

Contador is feeling on form already, despite the usual Tour de France winner winter program. "I feel well, although I've had to fit training in around some commitments." The weather didn't help the rider from Madrid, either. "Well, the winter that we're having this year in Europe and in my area in particular…I don't remember anything this bad. It's difficult to sort out training, but comparing the data with other years, I think that things are going pretty well."

Like in 2009, the Volta al Algarve is his first race. "Last year things went very well for starting the season at Paris-Nice [where he finished fourth after losing the lead with two days to go] and the races that came next. It's true that last year I got the victory [in Algarve], but this year I don't think that I'll reach the same level as last, but it'll be a good warm-up for the rest of the races."

The team

The Davis brothers Allan and Scott were the last riders signed. Contador is quite happy with the formation, which suffered a major cut - all the riders on his Tour team had left. "It's a team that, considering the timeline we've had to deal with, is a very good group. In the end, it'll be a very complete team that'll have a presence in any race it goes to, and it'll have riders who'll be competitive in all the races it goes to."

The main race for Contador is of course the Tour de France. "Thinking about the fundamental goal of the team — the Tour — I think that, all in all, quite a competitive team has been put together, quite complete, and that I can have a team at the level I need for the Tour."

Contador is also happy with his new racing outfit. "I like it a lot. They've taken away some of the colors, like the navy blue, and the white and gold are more predominant. I think it's a jersey that people are really going to like."

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