Contador keeps Dauphiné lead

Astana maintains advantage despite playing down ambitions

It seems Alberto Contador can't help his winning ways; despite claiming he wasn't focused on maintaining the Critérium du Dauphiné lead, the Spaniard was in yellow at the end of yesterday's stage from Evian-les-Bains to Saint-Laurent-du-Pont.

The reigning Tour de France champion pulled on the yellow jersey after winning Sunday's 6.8km prologue in Evian-les-Bains but claimed he wouldn't be aiming to remain in the lead throughout the race's following stages.

But winning seems to be a habit for Contador and he remains in the ascendancy following a day in which Biel Kadri, Cyril Gautier, Dominique Rollin, Sebastien Minard and Matthieu Ladagnous spent most of the day at the head of the race before a chaotic sprint finish.

"Today everybody wanted to be in front and had many interests. Although we did not have much interest in keeping the jersey and preferred that a break would go ahead," said Contador. "Others did the work and in the end we preferred to be at the front to avoid risks, as there were many falls.

"It was a relatively quiet stage and yet there was some resistance from my legs after so many days without competing," he continued. "We did almost 200km and usually I wouldn't be going at this pace in training. I have to go slowly and think about testing myself in the time trial because some people are more prepared than me."

As for his overall ambitions this week in France, Contador remained fairly coy. "I still think exactly the same [as yesterday]. Today the group finished together and I kept the jersey, but I still think the same," he said.

"I think there are people better prepared [for the overall win]. Yesterday was a short time trial, which has nothing to do [with the final outcome], and today I noticed again my allergy, because here everything is much greener than in Spain. If it rains in the coming days I think it will be better for me if it is sunny."

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