Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) has expressed surprise at the lack of support from Movistar to try and pull Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange) back on the last mountainous stage of the Vuelta a Espana, after the Colombian climber's long-distance move pushed Contador off the podium and back down to fourth overall.
Chaves' bold attack, combined with solid support from team-mate Damien Howson, left Contador relying on teammate Yuri Trofimov on the final climb of Aitana, which was not enough to prevent the Spaniard from losing 1:24 to the Collombian.
"I thought that Movistar would help me after the stage to Formigal," Contador said, "but it didn't work out like that. Although I talked to [Alejandro] Valverde, they weren't willing to help me pull back Chaves. It's a pity, they took advantage of the situation I created that day."
Contador also indirectly, his own team and parts of his own approach, saying "I've learned a little bit more about how to race alone here, it's much easier when you have a great deal of support like with Sky.
"My team supported me as best they could but I was lacking support in the mountains."
He also admitted that he had made an error, "because I should have tried to have gone with Chaves when he attacked, but I thought it was a long way to go to the finish, so I didn't.
"I'm not so much disappointed as losing the podium as I am on losing the win overall. But when you win you don't learn much and when you lose you learn a lot more, and that's going to help me for next year.
"My congratulations to Nairo for his win, Froome for his race, and more than Chaves, Orica, for their strategy."