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Contador challenged by steep climbs in Tirreno-Adriatico

Cycling News
March 11, 2013, 22:16,
March 11, 2013, 22:17
First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Tirreno - Adriatico, Stage 6
Alberto Contador (Team Saxo - Tinkoff)

Alberto Contador (Team Saxo - Tinkoff)

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Wet conditions makes grades even more slippery

Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) finished the penultimate stage of Tirreno-Adriatico in fourth place overall after a tough day on Monday. Stage 6 turned out to be a day when Chris Froome (Sky) lost his overall lead to Vicenzo Nibali (Astana), and Contador dropped out his podium position. However, Contador kept the overall lead in the points classification.

Even the usually superb Spanish climber struggled with the day's triple ascent of the Sant'Elpidio a Mare, especially the final trip up when rain made the extreme grades - up to 30 per cent - difficult to ride. He described the day as "one stage in which climbing the hills was difficult as a result of the technique used". Normally riders would be out of the saddle, using their arms to help power up such a steep gradient, but any attempt to do so in the rain on today's ascent caused the unweighted rear tire to slip on the wet pavement.

"In the decisive moment, Joaquim [Rodriguez] attacked, and I came off the back. I stood up over the pedals, and I almost fell off my bike. I lost a few meters there, and then it was impossible to recover," Contador said.

"It was something amazing that we were not able to climb the hills because the wheels were slipping. Without the water on them, they would have been a little easier, but with the water, the objective was not to climb in front, but simply to climb."

Many racers had more trouble than Contador and were spotted having to walk their bikes uphill.

He still has a chance to step onto the final podium, but Contador said it will take "stunning leg pain" in tomorrow's 9.2km time trial.

ellenbrook2001 More than 1 year ago
well modern bike do not work under such condition anywhere a could see again SAGAN a wheel sucker and wont have many friends in the peloton if he go over the last hill of Milan San REMO sure hes something fishy?
observer More than 1 year ago
what the hell does that mean? In any case, Sagan is anything but a wheel sucker.
dsotherby More than 1 year ago
You have much to learn about bike racing ellenbrook... too much to cover in a forum.
rastymick More than 1 year ago
I have no clue what you are talking about??? Apropos Wheel Sucker - without Sagans help, Nibali & Purito would probably have gained only 20-30 seconds...
unc_sammy More than 1 year ago
In fairness to Sagan, he did some long pulls in aid to his former Liquigas teammate Nibali. The swinging style of Contador when going uphill didn't work this time due to slippery condition of the road. He was gapped uphill when he almost fell from his bike upon reacting to the attack of Rodriguez.Like in FI, these cyclists should be using tires ideal to rain and wet road condition.
Evan Shaw More than 1 year ago
Without doping Contador is just another decent climber