Contador hopes to have good legs again at Paris-Nice
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Contador hopes to have good legs again at Paris-Nice

by Neil Browne at 11:06 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Paris-Nice
 

Alberto ContadorOn a Paris-Nice stage shortened by 50 kilometers due to snow blanketing France, Astana leader Alberto Contador crossed the finish line in Aurillac today in sixth place. He ended up in seventh on the general classification for his efforts.

“It was a day marked by the cold”, Contador confirmed. “They shortened the race by 50 kilometers due to snow so we could do the stage, but it was always cold.”

Contador was part of a part of a six-man break that went away on the final climb of the day and managed to stay ahead of the chasing peloton by just four seconds.

“There was a small climb at the end, almost nothing,” said Contador, “just over a kilometer, but it was the cold that hurt and the group was split into several groups.”

Due to his crash on Monday there were concerns that he might have to abandon the race. “The legs responded quite well and I hope tomorrow they will be good too”, said Contador, referring to the mountain top stage finish in Mende.

“I tried to not lose any time today,” he said about his ride.

In the sprint for the finish, Contador bumped into fellow breakaway rider Tony Martin which caused a small gap between him and the group. “I was able to do the sprint but I touched a Columbia-HTC rider and I had to drag my foot along the road until I was able to put it back into the pedal," he explained, and will hope the seconds he lost won't be a problem in his race for the overall.

After studying the video of the finish, the race judges ruled that there was no reason to change the time split between stage winner Voigt and Contador. As a result he lost two seconds to the Saxo Bank rider, but still finished four seconds ahead of the main group gaining time on most of his rivals. Contador is in seventh place overall, 20 seconds behind Voigt.

Tomorrow's stage 4 starts at Maurs and finishes in Mende and includes five categorized climbs. The stage ends at the top of a three-kilometer category 1 ranked climb.

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