Giro d’Italia: Contador is prepared to relinquish Maglia Rosa
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Giro d’Italia: Contador is prepared to relinquish Maglia Rosa

by Shane Stokes at 4:24 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
‘Everyone is going to attack’

Alberto ContadorHaving taken the Maglia Rosa on Sunday, two full weeks before the end of the race, Giro d’Italia leader Alberto Contador appears willing to let it pass to a rider from another team.

“We’ll have to see, take it day by day, because the goal for us is to win it on the 29th in Milan,” he said in a rest day video interview released by his website. “The Giro is very difficult to control, especially with such long, tough stages. We are not obsessed with keeping the lead,” he said.

Allowed a non-favourite to take over at the top would take the pressure off the Saxo Bank SunGard team, which will otherwise have a very long way to defend the pink jersey. Contador underlined that he wasn’t aiming for the lead on Sunday, but rather to try to gain time on his competitors.

He’s clear that there is a long way to go. “The Giro has just begun. These first nine days have been tense, exhausting. They’ve done the first shake-up of the GC and they’ve given us the first look into how each of the favourites are doing,” he said.

“But now we’re looking at some unbelievable stages in the Dolomites, plus the hill time trial and the Milan time trial. This has really only just begin…but it’s always good to be a little ahead.”

Contador holds a comfortable 59 seconds advantage over the closest of his rivals, Kanstantsin Sivtsov (HTC Highroad),with Christophe Le Mevel a further 20 seconds back in third. Amongst those who dropped more time on Sunday were Denis Menchov (Geox TMC), who lost two minutes 16 seconds on the final climb, and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), who conceded five seconds more than that.

Even so, Contador believes they all remain dangerous. “My rivals are still the same. There are a few who’ve lost some time, but you never know if it’s due to a bad day or because they are not in good form,” he said. “Take Menchov or Joaquim Rodriguez, who didn’t have brilliant days yesterday. But it’s going to be truly hard…everyone is going to attack.”


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