Contador anticipates a return to form, says Schlecks ‘must attack’
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Friday, July 15, 2011

Contador anticipates a return to form, says Schlecks ‘must attack’

by VeloNation Press at 3:14 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Spaniard triumphed on Plateau de Beille in 2007

Alberto Contador

Alberto Contador has said that his rivals Frank and Andy Schleck must ride aggressively in tomorrow’s Plateau de Beille mountain stage of the Tour de France, stating that the onus is on them to gain time over their rivals who are stronger in time trials than they are.

Frank Schleck opened a gap on yesterday’s stage to Luz Ardiden, but his brother Andy finished with Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) and Ivan Basso (Liquigas).

“The Schleck brothers have to attack, of course,” he said. “Their situation is quite complicated because yesterday, they wasted a chance to drop a rider like Evans. A very solid rider, very strong in the mountains and on the time trial. No doubt they will have to move again,” he said.

Given that he lost time to both of them yesterday, it may appear strange that the Spaniard is hoping that they ride aggressively. However he said that he believes he should be in better shape tomorrow and, if so, that he will go on the offensive.

“My knee is doing better…at the beginning of the stage it bothered me a little but at the end of the day there was no problems. Hopefully, tomorrow I will be in perfect condition.

“I believe that tomorrow's stage may be perfect for taking time if I'm okay. Plateau de Beille is such a hard climb. I clearly remember the climb from 2007. But the stage is not only about the final climb. From the beginning of the stage, there are mountains so I will have to see how I feel.”

The Saxo Bank SunGard rider is currently seventh overall, four minutes behind race leader Thomas Voecker (Europcar).

Contador triumphed when the race went to Plateau de Beille four years ago, beating Michael Rasmussen to the line. He will draw upon that memory to inspire him, but states that his body will determine what he can do. “We have to see what our thoughts will be tactically. It kind of depends on how the legs are. But do not rule out the possibility of an attack,” he said. “I have to see my rivals but if I see the opportunity, I will move for sure.”


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