Tour winner scopes Flèche course ahead of 2010 Classics debut
Alberto Contador (Astana) has arrived in Belgium for the Ardennes Classics after a 1900 kilometre drive from central Spain.
Contador won the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon on Sunday afternoon and then set off by car with Astana teammates Oscar Pereiro, Josep Jufre, Benjamin Noval and Gorazd Stangelj.
They had originally planned to catch a high-speed train from Pau to Paris, but Contador and Noval opted to do the entire journey by car with Fran Contador, Alberto's brother, behind the wheel. They managed to cross the Pyrenees on Sunday night and arrived in Poitiers, central France, where they slept for a few hours. They eventually reached Liège at 3:00p.m. on Monday afternoon, after almost 24-hours of travelling.
Pereiro, Jufre and Stangelj took an afternoon train on Monday and will be picked up by an Astana team car for the final portion of the journey Liège.
Contador went for a short ride on arrival, doing 30 kilometres on some of the route of Liège-Bastogne–Liège with several local riders. Noval opted to ride on the rollers. The whole team will study the route for Wednesday's Flèche Wallonne on Tuesday.
"It has been a hard journey, but we have done it relatively comfortably and fast," said Contador. "In the end we were right not to take the train because it was really full of people, as our teammates have told us. It wasn't an advantage."
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