Contador clarifies: no plans to try to win three Grand Tours in one season
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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Contador clarifies: no plans to try to win three Grand Tours in one season

by Conal Andrews at 9:34 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, Vuelta a España
 
Grand Slam is ‘impossible’ says Tour winner’s agent

Alberto ContadorContradicting the goal attributed to Alberto Contador yesterday by Bjarne Riis, the rider’s brother and agent Fran Contador has said that there are no plans to try to win three Grand Tours in one season.

“I imagine that there was a translation error,” he said, according to Eurosport. “To conquer the Giro, Tour and Vuelta in the same year is impossible. We have made it very clear that the priority is the Tour and working towards that is planned in each of the two campaigns that we have signed up for.”

Riis announced yesterday that Contador would compete with the Saxo Bank-Sungard team in 2011 and 2012. He said that the Spaniard wanted to be the first in history to win the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España in the same year.

“Alberto’s ambition is to win all three major stage races in the same year, and I want to be part of it,” said Riis. “It is not certain that it will be next year, but the ambition is to succeed in one of the next few years. I believe that it is feasible.”

As much as taking a hitherto-unachieved Grand Slam is a hugely ambitious one, the fact that Riis and Fran Contador appear to have a different view of the stated goals is unusual, given that the contract has already been signed and – presumably – the aims and targets have been laid out.

Contador will however try to win two more Tours de France, making it possible that by the time the new contract is fulfilled, he will have joined Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernhard Hinault and Miguel Indurain as five-time winners of the race.

To do so, he will need a strong supporting crew behind him. The departure of the Schleck brothers from the Saxo Bank team will inevitably see other riders also go with them; amongst those rumoured to be leaving are long-time key riders Jens Voigt and Stuart O’Grady. There are also some suggestions that Fabian Cancellara could be heading to the BMC Racing Team or elsewhere, although the Swiss rider still has a year left on his contract and has not publicly stated that he is considering changing.

What’s clear is that Contador would like to bring some riders from the current Astana team with him. “Let's see what happens with Cancellara and many others,” said Fran Contador. “I do not know if they will stay or if they will go along with the Schleck brothers. On the other hand, we would like that Alberto brings with him a few trusted men such as Dani Navarro and Jesus Hernandez.”

These and other details are likely to be finalised soon, although it will be September before full transfer details for teams can be officially announced. The UCI limits the amount of information that can be released to the media before that time.

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