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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) in good mood at the start of stage 6
All around good race for Spanish star
Alberto Contador was content with his second place overall finish at this weekend's Volta a Catalunya this weekend, which came after he tried to surprise his rivals on a somewhat wet and dangerous final circuit of Monjuic in Barcelona on Sunday.
After seven days of racing, the Tinkoff-Saxo leader said, "I feel good all around. Maybe I missed getting a different finish in a stage or two, and it's a pity that I didn't take better advantage of the mountain stages, like on the Vallter 2000, but I'm happy, especially with how I recovered day by day."
"Although I've done some hard work in different races already this year, I feel good, both physically and mentally, and I'm rested for my next target, the Basque Country," he said.
Contador admitted he regretted not attacking further out on the Vallter 2000 finish, where he opened up a small gap on eventual overall winner Joaquim Rodriguez in the finale, but missed the stage victory and an opportunity to overturn the narrow five-second deficit to Rodriguez. "Maybe I could have pushed more. I think that I had the legs for the stage and could have tried something more for the overall, but tactically, there are times you play one way and the others when you play another."
Had there been a time trial, Contador thinks it wouldn't have made any difference in the overall. "You never know, there are times that a time trial benefits me and times when it benefits others. With Joaquim [Rodriguez], it could have benefited me, but not with [Tejay] van Garderen."
Contador tried up until the very end of the final stage, with a move as late as two laps to go, but heavy rains and an adjustment to the finishing circuits that removed 1.1km and some elevation changes made it impossible for him to gain an advantage. "Today, I think they did the right thing by cutting the course due to danger, but it's also taken out some of the difficulty in the climbing, so it was more difficult to attack. Anyway, Joaquim was very attentive the entire time and I can only congratulate him."
Contador will race the Basque Country Tour starting on April 7.