Alberto Contador: 'It's as if I had won'
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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Alberto Contador: 'It's as if I had won'

by Jered Gruber at 5:22 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Liège-Bastogne-Liège

Alberto Contador can leave the Ardennes today with a lot of satisfaction when looking back at the first three months of his 2010 campaign.

"In every race I have been contesting or even winning, and those that I have not, as here in Liège, we have done a great job. The first part of the season has been superb."

Contador will now settle back into his Tour de France preparations after the recent spate of racing. The rider from Madrid now sets his eyes firmly on his season's number one goal: Le Tour. The month of May will be devoted to training and reconnaisance, before he picks up racing again in June ahead of July's date with destiny.

"I have a great taste in my mouth after these races. Unfortunately, today I noticed a lot more allergies than in the Fleche, but my good sensations saved the day. I only had a hint of cramps crowning St. Nicholas and in the last 500 meters of the race. In the two places I preferred to regulate my efforts, because I thought I could stay cramped."

Liege-Bastogne-Liege was without question a great success for the Astana team. Triple Crown winner, Contador, was happy for his resurgent Kazakhstani teammate: "It was impressive, I'm happy that Vino won. It's as if I had won.”

The team plan had been for Contador to try to make his move late in the day, but when Vinokourov's move got the gap, the plans changed to defending his teammate's tenuous lead:

"We had talked before the start we played with two options, mine went through attack at St. Nicholas or the Roche aux Faucons. There I started a little late. I got to go with Andy Schleck. We were eventually picked up from behind, and then Vino was gone. I tried to slow the chase as much as possible, especially with the Schleck brothers and Joaquim Rodriguez."

For all of the negative talk about Alberto Contador last year, all reports have shown that this is one of the most humble champions in the sport today. His comments after the race were further testament.

"We have worked very well as a team. We had two good chances of winning, and when Vino went ahead it was clear to me: I had to do what Saxo Bank did with Andy Schleck last year. The result was perfect...I saw that Vino was very strong, and I was very touched listening how they cheered him on on the radio. When I heard that he had won, I was very happy."

Alberto Contador finished his first real effort at the Ardennes Classics with the final step of the podium at La Fleche Wallonne and 10th today at La Doyenne. After what has been said about a lack of tactical nous from the Grand Tour dominator, Contador showed that he was more than capable on the tough roads of the Ardennes.


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