Contador to miss Spanish championships road race once more
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Contador to miss Spanish championships road race once more

by Ben Atkins at 9:40 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, National Championships
 
Tour champion feels national road race is too flat and risky

Alberto ContadorTour de France favourite Alberto Contador is to miss out on his national championship road race, he told Spanish Eurosport commentators yesterday. The Astana rider does not feel that the race fits in with his preparation for the defence of his Tour title, and that the course doesn’t suit him.

“I’m not doing it because the course is too flat,” said the Spaniard, “Moreover, there will be racing on dangerous roads.” The risk of crashing would be too much for him; coming down in the race could seriously jeopardise his performance at the Tour, which starts a week later.

“I’ll probably do the individual time trial,” he confirmed though, implying that he would be defending the championship that he won last year. Always regarded as one of the strongest climbers in the sport, Contador’s improvement against the watch has been one of the big factors behind his four Grand Tour (2 Tours de France, 1 Giro d’Italia and 1 Vuelta a España) wins to date.

In the Tour de France last year Contador was second in the 15.5km stage 1 time trial in Monaco and won the 40.5km time trial on stage 18; he was also a member of the victorious Astana team in the 39km stage 4 team time trial.

The last rider to win the Tour de France as Spanish road race champion was Miguel Indurain, taking his third consecutive victory in 1992; although Alejandro Valverde wore the yellow jersey for two days while champion in 2008. Contador is the only rider to date to have won the Tour as Spanish time trial champion, largely because the title has only been in existence since 1994.

The current Spanish road champion is Caisse d’Epargne rider Rubèn Plaza, having won the title last year while riding for the Portuguese Continental Liberty Seguros team.

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