Bruyneel acknowledges Contador’s strength
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bruyneel acknowledges Contador’s strength

by VeloNation Press at 9:54 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Johan BruyneelHe’s now a rival manager to his former team leader, but Johan Bruyneel has admitted that Alberto Contador’s all-round abilities make him very difficult to beat.

The Belgian was speaking after the end of Paris-Nice, which was won by Contador following a strong all-round performance.

“Alberto has confirmed that he was the best rider today,” Bruyneel told DH.be. “He is very good and effective against the clock, and has no rival in the  mountains. Like last year, when he was with us, he has not been successfully attacked.”

He hinted that Contador’s impressive run of successes in stage races – including two Tour de France wins, plus victories in the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España -  may have given him a psychological edge on his rivals.

“It looks like the riders of Caisse d’Epargne have increasingly sought to reach the podium and win the team standings rather than try everything to beat Contador,” he said. “For now, I don’t see how to beat him, except perhaps taking advantage of the wind, but in Paris-Nice this didn’t cause much of a gap.”

RadioShack’s team leader for Paris-Nice, Levi Leipheimer, finished fractionally ahead of Contador in the prologue. He was expected to challenge in the mountains but faded out of contention. Bruyneel said that they have time to improve.

“Levi has also fallen and Popovych got sick,” he explained. “As for the rest, we were lagging behind many of our adversaries, but that was expected. Unlike other teams, we have only raced a little this season. We have not raced in Qatar or Oman, or Bessegès, or the Tour of the Mediterranean.”
 

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