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Contador plays the team game on stage 19

By:
Sadhbh O'Shea
Published:
July 20, 2013, 02:25,
Updated:
July 20, 2013, 04:45
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, July 20, 2013
Race:
Tour de France
Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff)

Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff)

  • Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff)
  • Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) was unable to gain any time on Tour leader Chris Froome during stage 19
  • Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) wasn't able to gain any time on Tour de France leader Chris Froome (Sky)
  • Nicolas Roche sets the pace for Saxo-Tinkoff

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Spaniard helps Saxo-Tinkoff protect team classification lead

Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) has been one of the few riders to take the race to leader Chris Froome and try to crack the Tour de France leader, despite being over five minutes down on the Sky rider.

Yesterday Contador sent teammates up the road and decided to make his escape on the descent of the Col de Sarenne, but in stage 19 today the Spaniard seemed unusually quiet. As the peloton wound its way from Bourg-d'Oisans to Le Grand-Bornand, the Saxo-Tinkoff rider stayed safely in its clutches for much of the day.

When the stage reached its crucial final ascent, he allowed Movistar to throw down the gauntlet with both Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana riding off the front. "There was a moment when I thought to attack, because the rain is good for me," Contador said. "But we decided the best thing was to stay together."

Contador is not known for taking a back seat in races and has often said he'd prefer to finish far down the general classification than finish second. It was used to great effect at last year's Vuelta a España when he a attacked Joaquim Rodríguez on what was meant to be a transition day, to win the stage and the race out right. His attacks haven't paid off this time around, which has generally been put down to a lack of form coming into the race.

With the heavens opening above the peloton, Contador decided against a do or die move on the final descent. "I didn't want to attack, because behind the TV there are people who love me and get nervous when I attack on a descent. Also, the descent was not great and it was better to be calm and stay together."

In addition to the second place overall that Contador still holds onto, the Saxo-Tinkoff is leading the team competition. The points earned from the team competition could prove crucial when WorldTour licences are given out at the end of the season, even more so with the number of points being the sole deciding factor.

"My team was doing a great job, controlling for the team classification," Contador explained. "If I attacked I could cause Roman Kreuziger to unhook."

Contador hasn't completely given up on trying to put some time into Froome and the other main contenders, but it will "all depend on how the legs are."

Moose McKnuckles More than 1 year ago
Cleantador is nowhere near as dangerous as Clentador was.
Mario Rivera More than 1 year ago
Contador of today is only one spot off from the Contador of the past. He just couldn't do damage to Froome's super high cadence legs and team.
maplethedog More than 1 year ago
Still good enough to be in second place in the Tour and win last years Vuelta...
velogeek More than 1 year ago
Contador has never been superhuman; it was fortunate for him that his competitors weren't, either. The podium for his '07 win was one of the tightest in history, and in '09 the best also-rans were Andy Schleck and an old Lance Armstrong. Doesn't exactly make me think 'extra-terrestrial.'
Cance > TheRest More than 1 year ago
Agreed, almost any of AC's TDF wins were very close and the only time he beat the others with 4min was 2009, where Andy wasn't yet in his 2010-2011 GT class
Cheche San Miguel More than 1 year ago
Contador is just a normal athlete . . once marriage/family life catches up, it's already hard to maintain that championship level of performance. Froome is below 30, so with Quintana, Costa, Uran and Betancor who still has that power, snap, spring and stamina compared to the inconsistent performance of Valverde, Rodriguez, Wiggins, Gilbert, etc. Next who will experience a decline will be Nibali.
Mark Schwitau More than 1 year ago
Nibali doesn't look to be declining and Valverde is certainly consistent. Otherwise I agree.
Dodge2000 More than 1 year ago
Young guys are getting much better, much quicker. If we took Froome out of the equation you could realistically be having Quintana with White, Polka and Yellow by the end. I think we will see more of a move to the under 30s winning the tours as recovery rates for the oldies aren't 'helped' and the tactics and experience of the young ones means that can maintain good form through our a tour
thehog More than 1 year ago
Yes marriage ruins everything. Same for mere mortals. Once married all your top performances are gone.
Blakeslee More than 1 year ago
Hoping to see Contador knocked off the podium tomorrow by Rodriguez and Quintana. The final climb will be exciting to watch.
One Eyed Aussie More than 1 year ago
What's wrong with the forum?
movingtarget More than 1 year ago
Maintenance.
One Eyed Aussie More than 1 year ago
in the middle of the TDF?
TheBean More than 1 year ago
No, towards the end of the third week of the TdF. Such a silly question.
Murali Parameswaran More than 1 year ago
they couldn't have waited for tour to get over? forum is far better than phil/paul
ellenbrook2001 More than 1 year ago
so many of them have no clue about cycling ,look all the idiot running after the riders in the mountain the riders suffer then those idiot have flag on the face of the riders the others in the middle of the road they must be drank a did see 2 years ago in ALPE DHUEZ in the DUTCH corner party all night drunk,drunk, so crazy the police should check every vehicle going up then remove all alcohol so perhaps we will have more better behavior from the public .what happen in the mountain stages hes not funny a really feel sorry for the riders?