Alberto Contador has started his preparation for the Tour de France with his first race of the season, the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal (February 18-22). The Spaniard talked about his build-up to the race and his hopes to be better than last year.
Contador trained with his Astana team in California, partially with the goal of getting his equipment ready. "The bike feels better than I had hoped for." He was also working on his time trial position. "We used the data from the wind tunnel testing to improve things and I wanted to get the new material as soon as possible."
Contador said the biggest change was the angle of his arms, which will allows for better breathing. "But once I have the bike I will test it on the road and play with all the parameters." In Portugal he is still using his old bike, limiting his ability to test his time trialing under race conditions. "I hope everything is ready for Paris-Nice." Contador has scheduled just five races before the Tour de France.
The 33-kilometre long time trial should offer the Spaniard a good test. "I would have preferred for it to be shorter. That distance could take too much out of me for now, but we will see where I stand."