Contador: Paris-Nice win means a lot to me
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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Contador: Paris-Nice win means a lot to me

by Bjorn Haake at 3:46 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Alberto Contador won his second Paris-Nice today, after he already succeeded in 2007. He is now equal with the Spanish record set by Miguel Indurain, but the young Contador surely will be able to add a few more editions to his tally, given his growing strength and experience.

"Winning Paris-Nice means a lot to me," a happy Contador said in Nice after the race. "It's a race with an incredible prestige."

Contador is not only confident in his own abilities towards a third Tour de France victory crown, but sees that his Astana team is up to the challenge. "All the riders went out of their way for me and fought hard to do the things well."

Like last year, Contador did not have the easiest of races. Unlike in 2009, where a hunger knock put him out of yellow, Contador held on this time.

"From everything you can learn a bit," Contador said. This year a crash and being put on the defensive in the fight for seconds didn't deter him from prevailing in the race to the sun.

"This year there were many times when I needed to take decisions, handing out the tactics. With one year more of experience, things look differently."

Little blunders

He still had a day where he was in the wrong group, after wind had splintered the peloton. But Contador chose not to pay too much attention to it. "That day I didn't make the cut, but it was not because we were inattentive - we had raced all day on the front." Contador admitted that he needed to pay special attention to those hard and important stages and will have his work cut out for July.

Paris-Nice was a perfect preparation for the Tour de France. "It is like a mini Tour de France, a true madness that cannot be controlled by a single team. Given how we organized everything and the decisions we took, I think it was a great test for the Tour."

In 2007, Contador was less known. "This year's win is really important to me, but 2007 served me well, so more people got to know Alberto Contador better. This time, it signifies that the legs are responding and in terms of racing experience, it gives me great confidence for the future."

Contador is realistic that he won't be able to come out with a clean bill of wins for the season, standing two for two so far. "There are times when you win and other times when you don't. I am not obsessed about that."

The final word was reserved for praise to his team once again. "On television, you only see the last 40 or 50km, but it is often forgotten that in the other 150, my teammates worked very hard as well."


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