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Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank)
Ice vests used to combat heat following TTT
Alberto Contador was happy with the performance of Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank during the first stage, a team time trial, at this year’s Vuelta a España. His team was the second-to-last to leave the starting house and despite losing 14 seconds to Movistar, Contador was pleased to get through the technical course without any problems.
"We did a very, very good time. We have to be happy, the team has given everything and whatever the result, I am very happy with the team and its motivation," Contador said at the finish.
Contador was the first Saxo Bank-Tinkoff rider across the line with his team ending the night with the seventh fastest time. Four riders finished with the former Vuelta winner, including Daniel Navarro, Sergio Paulinho, Bruno Pires and Rafal Majka. The narrow and twisting course meant few teams finished with more than five riders, whilst a number encountered problems along the route.
"I heard there was a fall and involved several riders including Gasparoto and Tiralongo, but Sky has also had problems," Contador said.
The heat is always a factor at the Vuelta but the days leading up to the start were extremely difficult. Having the TTT held during the early evening made the conditions a little easier for the riders however, Contador and his teammates were quick to put on ice vests before riding back to the hotel nearby.
"I had not seen them for a long time and although it was only 16 kilometers, in a three week tour every day is important and so I'm very happy. Now we have to go home and recover, tomorrow will be a very demanding day," he said.
"I am grateful and from here I thank everyone who has been waiting at the foot of the bus over 2 hours just to see us for a moment. Especially considering it was very hot. I appreciate it and although it was not the victory, this result goes to them."