Contador concedes to Boom in Paris-Nice opener
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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Contador concedes to Boom in Paris-Nice opener

by Samuel Morrison at 1:09 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Paris-Nice

Tour de France Champion Alberto Contador began Paris-Nice, an eight-kilometre time trial, just off the fastest time of the day set by Lars Boom (Rabobank).

"It's true that I was not able to win," said Spain's Contador, "but it is unimportant because I'm very pleased with my performance."

Contador finished in fourth place, six seconds off the pace of the 24 year-old Dutchman, Boom. USA's Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) placed third at six seconds and Germany's Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) second at three seconds.

Boom covered the course, part of it over cobbles, with a time of 10'56".

"It [riding on the cobbles] is always different than riding on a smooth road, but it did not mark the race a lot because it was a fairly short piece. Besides, I felt there quite comfortable."

Contador won the final time trial of the Tour de France to secure his overall win last year. Paris-Nice's stage was only his second time trial this year after the Volta ao Algarve last month.

"At first it took me a little while to pick up the pace, but then I found it quite comfortable. I could not win, but that's even better considering now the team will have less responsibility."

Contador will try to repeat his 2007 Paris-Nice this year, backed by important Astana team-mates Oscar Pereiro, Daniel Navarro and Benjamin Noval. David De La Fuente and Jesús Hernández were left off the start list due to injuries.

Contador finished ahead of his key rivals: six seconds on Luis León Sánchez (Caisse d'Epargne), 23 seconds on Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) and 29 on Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step).

"There are other riders here going really strong, I have some important [time] differences some riders: Chavanel, Schleck or Valverde."

Paris-Nice continues tomorrow with a stage to Contres, but its tricky stages will be the mountaintop finish to Mende and the final day's circuit in Nice.


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