Contador suffers from allergies, drops out of contention in Critérium International
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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Contador suffers from allergies, drops out of contention in Critérium International

by VeloNation Press at 2:32 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Critérium International

Critérium International pre-race favorite Alberto Contador (Astana) cited seasonal allergies as his main adversary on the island of Corsica today.  The pollen in the air is said to have prevented the Spaniard from having the legs follow the attacks on stage one's final 14.2 kilometer climb up the Col de l'Ospedale.

Contador's troubles began when Frenchman David Moncoutié (Cofidis) attacked in the closing kilometers, his subsequent capture set off a counter attack from eventual stage winner Pierrick Fedrigo (BBox Bouygues Telecom) and Tiego Machado (RadioShack), that was too much for the two-time Tour de France winner to follow.

"Alberto found himself feeling badly three kilometers from the finish due to an allergy problem, not with his legs, it was difficulty breathing... Just as the climb was most conducive to an attack, he was forced to let the group go," explained Astana manager Yvon Sanquer to Belga.

"He decided to finish the climb at his own pace since he was unable follow the best.  Given the [time] differences and the level of riders who are in front of him, it is impossible to reverse the deficit," he said.

Prior to the race Contador had mentioned his allergy problems, so while no doubt disappointing, it might not have been completely unexpected.

"We'll just see how he will recover from this," he added.  "He's a little disappointed because it's never easy when you do everything right in your preparations and have ambitions [for the win] to be struggling like that in a final. There are explanations, and we must analyze it all calmly," he concluded.

American Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) also had difficulties on the climb crossing the line nearly four minutes after Contador.  Both riders will now focus on tomorrow's race against the clock to try to salvage their weekend.


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