Astana and Contador change his race schedule
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Astana and Contador change his race schedule

by Bjorn Haake at 12:51 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Alberto Contador is changing his race programme, after analyzing his first two outings of the season. The Spaniard is two for two so far, having won the Vuelta al Algarve and Paris-Nice. Contador wants to put less pressure on himself and his team.

"I had good results in the first two races of the year, my preparation is going well and so we decided to change our race calendar. We will do less strenuous races - for me as well as for my team," Contador said.

After a physically and mentally taxing Paris-Nice, Contador decided to skip both the Volta a Catalunya and the Vuelta al País Vasco. Instead, the Astana leader will ride in the Critérium International (March 27 and 28), in the Vuelta a Castilla y León (April 14 to 18), Flèche Wallonne (April 21) and Liège-Bastogne-Liège (April 25).

"The Criterium is a race that suits my characteristics very well and I am looking forward to it because it has a lot of prestige", he said. "I also have a special affection to the Vuelta a Castilla y León."

Contador is planning ahead for the Tour as well, which will be held over parts of the classics routes. "This year's date change for the classics has been good for me - it gives me the opportunity to get some experience. I'm excited to ride there, because they have a special charm, but I realize that there will be riders more skilled than I to fight for victory."

Another clash with Armstrong

This gives another opportunity of a pre-Tour clash with one of his biggest rivals for July's Grande Boucle, Lance Armstrong. The Texan will also do the Critérium International, as well as the Ardennes Classics, including Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Contador won the Vuelta al País Vasco the last two years, but will not defend his title. "I decided to sacrifice Catalunya and País Vasco because of my preparation, which is going well and I don't want to take any risks of overdoing it. Also this way I have the opportunity to race with riders who will accompany me to the Tour, for example with [Alexander] Vinokourov."

After the race block of the new schedule is done, he will take a brief rest break and then start his final Tour de France preparation with the Dauphiné Libéré.
 

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