Contador clear favourite for Vuelta a Castilla y Leon, but says he’s been suffering with a cold
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Contador clear favourite for Vuelta a Castilla y Leon, but says he’s been suffering with a cold

by Shane Stokes at 2:04 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Spaniard has already won two stage races in 2011

Alberto ContadorVictorious this season in the Vuelta a Murcia and the Volta a Catalunya, Alberto Contador will aim for his third consecutive stage race win when he begins the Vuelta Castilla y Leon tomorrow.

For both of those previous races, the Spaniard played down his chances; he’s doing so again, saying that his health hasn’t been perfect in the lead up to it. “In the last two days I've been suffering from a cold, but I hope I don't suffer during the race.”

He won it in 2007, 2008 and again last year, and will try to do so again. He claims that the parcours do not suit him as well as he would like, though. “This will be a difficult race because the mountain finish is not very demanding and cannot make so much of a difference. The time trial is also very short so any rider who arrives in time has a chance of victory.”

He will be up against a number of rivals, including Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Carlos Sastre (Geox TMC), but with only five UCI ProTeams in the race and many of his usual GC opponents missing, the lineup is less complicated for him than in Murcia and Catalunya.

The priority remains the Giro d’Italia, though, and so he will ride with that in mind. That may determine how deep he is willing to go. What’s clear is that he and his team will be closely watched, and that he will be the undisputed favourite when the race begins in Medina de Rioseco tomorrow.

He is targeting a fourth Tour de France victory this July, but his participation will depend on the outcome of an appeal over his Clenbuterol case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Vuelta a Castilla y Leon, April 13-17 (UCI 2.1):

Stage 1, Apr 13: Medina de Rioseco to Palencia (179.4 km)
Stage 2, Apr 14: Valladolid – Salamanca (213 km)
Stage 3, Apr 15: Benavente - Laguna de los Peces (157.2 km)
Stage 4, Apr 16: Zamora time trial (11.2 km)
Stage 5, Apr 17: Madrigal de Las Altas Torres to Medina del Campo (167.7 km)


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