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Contador: I'm going to the Tour de France to win

Cycling News
January 3, 11:53,
January 3, 11:53
First Edition Cycling News, Friday, January 3, 2014
Tour de France
Alberto Contador poses for a photograph in front of  Corcovado mountain in Brazil

Alberto Contador poses for a photograph in front of Corcovado mountain in Brazil

  • Alberto Contador poses for a photograph in front of  Corcovado mountain in Brazil
  • Chris Froome and Alberto Contador chat at the presentation of the 2014 Tour de France route
  • Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) will need to improve his time trialing if he's to challenge for the Tour de France in 2014

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TInkoff-Saxo rider opens up new School of Cycling

After the trials and tribulations of last season, Alberto Contador [Tinkoff-Saxo] is beginning the new year in a fighting spirit.

“I am going to the Tour to win,” Contador told the press at the launch of his new School of Cycling. “I do not know who will be the leader in the pack. It is certain that [Chris] Froome dominated the 2013 season, but if he wants to win the Tour again he will have to beat the rest of the riders and teams who have prepared to the maximum.”

Contador took only one victory in 2013 at his opening race of the year, the Tour de San Luis. Despite his aggressive riding style, he struggled to nail down another win and is looking to rectify that as soon as possible. “I am highly motivated ahead of this campaign. I've spoken to the media less, so that I can focus more on training and I am very happy with how it's going."

The 31-year-old was very active in last year's Tour de France, but repeated attacks took their toll and he faded into fourth place in the final week. His inability to match Froome in the mountains caused, his team sponsor, Oleg Tinkov to take to twitter and criticise his motivation. The Spaniard dismissed the notion that this still causes friction between the two, stating that it is “old news” and that he has a good relationship with his new team owner.

Contador spoke to the media at the presentation of his new School of Cycling, for boys and girls aged between 8 and 14. The school is in addition to the junior and under 23 teams that were announced late last year. “This is a great day for me, because I never had the chance to enjoy a cycling school,” said the Spaniard.

“The goal isn't to make them professional, but for the kids to enjoy the bike.” He said “why not” when asked if the school would be the stepping stone to a future team, but admitted that is depended on “sponsorship support.”

Outside of discussions of his new school, the continues spectulation that the Spaniard would switch to Fernando Alonso's new team in 2015. Contador said that he won't count out teaming up with his compatriot in the future, but that he is staying put for now.

“When I heard that Fernando was going into cycling we spoke. We are two athletes in a similar place and with a good feeling,” he explained. “You never know what will happen in the future, but I signed for two more seasons (2014 and 2015) with the Saxo-Tinkoff and I must respect that contract.”

Contador will begin his season on February 19 at the Volta ao Algarve.

Fernando Cintra 9 months ago
Unless there was a huge (and I mean HUGE) mistake with his schedule for his preparation last year, Contador is just not 2007-2011 Contador anymore. For 2014 Nibali matches him in audacity, (old) Schleck in climbing, and Froome overcomes him in TT. He is a Top 5 guy. But his days are behind him.
Sillaz 9 months ago
I wouldn't say that, may be it should be better if we wait to see what will happen on the roads.
Fernando Cintra 9 months ago
nobody seems to remember, but back in 2010 he made to the top spot doped and beat Scheck by mere 40 seconds. In 2012 he won at the vuelta due to the Fuente De Kamikaze attack. but then again, we all saw last year he trying the same (descending at alp d'huez stage, Saint amand montrond cross wind, etc.). I can't understand, Nibali is growing in form consistently, with podiums in all grand tours for the past 4 years, even beating froome at Tirreno, but people count him off anyway. well, 2014 will prove us right or wrong :)
blemcooper 9 months ago
I think the thing with Nibali is that people don't see him attacking ferociously up climbs and devastating rivals in ITTs. Where he does his special thing is on descents. These may not show up well on TV because the cameras cannot follow effectively, especially when they are most spectacular (in the wet) and there is no sea of fans to make for interesting TV shots. I will say though that he most impressed me going up the final climbs of his overall Vuelta victory against Mosquera. He didn't win the stage (all the more negative to those who like to see the spectacular win), but he ground it out alone and made up significant deficits multiple times. That was as impressive to me as any leg breaking attack up a climb off the front by the likes of Contador, Froome, Rodriguez or Armstrong. Because of this, if Nibali wins against Froome, etc., it'll be all the more impressive to me that he did it without blowing them away on an uphill attack or a Cancellara/Martin/Wiggins quality long ITT spanking, but on a descent and grinding out the rest.
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Terrence Martineau 9 months ago
"Unless there was a huge (and I mean HUGE) mistake with his schedule for his preparation last year..." I think that's the case... last year's schedule was very out of character for Contador... he started racing earlier... and I think most detrimental... his schedule was set up such that Contador built form gradually over the entire season and was supposed to race in the early season to build form... which doesn't sound like a bad idea, but it is for a rider like Contador who finds it really hard to just ride a race for training and builds his confidence off of race results.. he is back to his regular training schedule this year with several build culminating with key races where the effort of a going for the win or good result will be taken into account in his schedule... this is how a season for a competitive, attacking a rider like Contador should be structured and it's what he has done every other year, but not last year... so I think we will see a different, more confident Contador coming into TdF next year...
Mark Stallard 9 months ago
He'll win, but only if he's doped up
JantonStentenan 9 months ago
And you'll continue to make comments like that, but only because you have NoFriendsSyndrome.
Alan D 9 months ago
Janton, we finally agree about something. Stallard, that was pathetic. Does that mean everyone who beats him is doped? Learn a little, live a lot. Cheers.
Emilio Campassi 9 months ago
I believe Nibali will win the tour this year
abs666 9 months ago
I believe Chris Horner will win!
Alan D 9 months ago
Snoopy's doing a comeback. Maybe it'll be him. Charles Schultz is dead, I know, but I reckon Snoopy can still do it, even without Schultz to draw in the opposition. However, if Snoopy and GS Peanuts don't front their wildcard entry offer , I really do hope Nibali does it. Judgement sez Froome, passion sez Nibali.
Manuel Schoel 9 months ago
Well, as long Froome doesn't win I am fine with either, Contador or Nibali.
Nicolaj221 9 months ago
I agree.. Really Froome is the most boring rider to look at, he is really like goofy on a bike. Contador and Nibali is far more enjoying to see attack, than Froomes spinning-sprinting-uphill-whatever technique that he did last years tour.
vassosa 9 months ago
Have you ever watched an Indurain tape? That was a cyclist "boring" to watch. Froome had his one or two attacks in the tour.
kevinzamora 9 months ago
No chance, Froome gets paced all the way to the last 2-3 kms while Indurain dropped them all himself with pace alone from the bottom with a huge gear. Indurain looked like a monster, just can't compare those two.
boombastic 9 months ago
not true. froome attacked twice to drop contador on a stage in tdf. also froome's attack in vuelta 2011 was the most entertaining attack i've ever seen. (not most heroic this is going to nibali this year vueltaattacks on angliru)
Cance > TheRest 9 months ago
Froomes awkward and terrible racing position actually makes me laugh. I find it highly amusing. However, he doesnt represent exciting racing, which is why I can't stand him. Personally he seems like an okay guy, but clearly he is as infected as the rest of the Sky riders by the managements PR-style. Hoping AC will regain form and atleast be a serious contender this year. Whether he or Nibali wins, I'm satisfied.
DaleUK 9 months ago
your comments regarding Froome being boring must be some sort of a joke, he attacked 5 km out on Ax 3 Domaines, smashed Contador all over the mountain prior to droping Quintana did the same on Ventoux , attacked on Alpe D huez prior dropping Contador again, he then attacked Purito and Quintana prior to being dropped by the pair of them on the Seminoz, I think your bored of Sky winning rather than Froom's style.
ridindirty 9 months ago
Yes how did he fly by Quintana? Q is a better climber and lighter! He would have to put out considerably more watts just to stay with him, but he flew past him! It seems to violate many laws of Physics! He can TT better the TT specialist and CLimb better the climbers! Huh? sounds like someone else?????
Alan D 9 months ago
Your take on all of these is wrong in detail , but the fact is Froome kicked their a55s with his skinny lil peastick legs and spinning panicky style. I was there on all the climbs you mention and Porte was the guy who did the smashing on A3... and Quintana simply miscalculated on Ventoux. He was hardly puffing at the top; Froome looked like he was going to do a Tommy. Rumour was that Contador had some bad breathing issue on D'Huez. He "sounded" terrible when he came passed us. I wouldn't write him off any podium just yet.
lastplacerider 9 months ago
IMO if he could get his TT skills back he would not have to push so hard in the mountains and then be more competitive overall. Even without Rogers he still has a team that can get him thru the climbs.
Chromking 9 months ago
I really hope that he find his form, but I don't think he can beat Froome. I also believe that Nibali is too strong. And so is Valverde. A fourth place as last year seems to be within reach. Unless young talents like Pinot and Bentancur has grown even stronger.
Cance > TheRest 9 months ago
Wowowow.. Contadors situation is not so bad that he will definitely be beaten by a rider like Valverde. I think they, including Nibali, are about equal in the mountains. The main problem however for Contador is not that he's not the best in the mountains anymore, but that he is not much better than Valverde in a TT... Regarding Betancur and Pinot threatening Contadors chances of getting a top 5, that must be clearly be a joke. Pinot is a second tier rider who should be happy with a top 10 finish in ANY GT he enters, while Betancur, admittedly is good uphill, but lacks a decent TT and has yet to prove that he can seriously challenge for a GT win.
cyclingfan001 9 months ago
If he shows his good form in this season. I believe that Contador is going to beat Froome in this year's Tour.
Alan D 9 months ago
I would love to see it, but I beleive not. In fact it ain't going to happen, but wouldn't a last 2 days in the mountains with Nibali, Contador, Froome and Quintana all within a minute just be what we all need?
GuyIncognito 9 months ago
Any time a top guy starts to decline, 'bad preparation' is always the excuse. I've never seen a single one admit he's past his peak age
Dan Vella 9 months ago
He can't say that because he is at his peak age but suddenly isn't the rider he was....... when he writes his book in 15 years the 2012 vuelta will be his sweatest victory, probably clean and a real racers win. Makes no sense he is in the company of jrod an valverde, they couldn't touch him before........
GuyIncognito 9 months ago
Actually, the average cqranking points or PCS ranking points per rider, separated by age, shows that riders peak at 26-27 in terms of results. In other words, what sports like soccer or baseball found out 10 years ago, cycling fans are yet to find out. Peak age is around 27 (but of course varies wildly from person to person) Contador improved steadily until 2009, then declined steadily. In 2010 he was worse, in 2011 he was worse than that, in 2012 worse still, and 2013 even worse.
Dan Vella 9 months ago
What data are you basing this on an over how many years was this analysis done? How can you compare football and baseball to cycling?
Alan D 9 months ago
You refer of course, to Chris Horner.
GuyIncognito 9 months ago
Horner didn't cross my mind and I fail to see how you can possibly think I'd be talking about him considering he's at the best level he's ever been at this moment
rshimizu12 9 months ago
Alberto made the mistake of taking off 3 weeks late spring last year. Part of Contador's problem is that he is is a bit undisciplined about his training and tends to rely on his talent to much. Wiggins and Froome are much more formidable competition so it is harder for him to win. It will be interesting to see what happens this season. Personally I am hoping that he wins this years TDF.
Raoul Duke 9 months ago
I don't find this an unreasonable assumption. Sky really seems to monitor their riders and ensure they are trained to a peak, while Contador may have found talent without a huge amount of work was good enough when he was younger, but now he is getting older he will need to train much more consistently. I think on a "Sky type program" of training (and I don't mean anything fishy, just hard, well-monitored training) his results will much better.
mononck 9 months ago
Sure, he relies too much on his 3 injections of "talent" a month...
Robert Palmer 9 months ago
Good thing he didn't say "I am going to win the tour". He would be deeply disappointed.
ridindirty 9 months ago
yes cuz you don't stand a chance this year! But I enjoy your music!
Robert Palmer 9 months ago
Lame. Thanks for chiming in though.