Alberto Contador believes that he is still capable of winning the Tour de France despite his disappointments in the race in recent seasons. The 34-year-old has joined Trek-Segafredo for 2017 following the disbandment of Tinkoff, and he is seeking a third Tour victory to follow his triumphs of 2007 and 2009. Contador also rode into Paris in yellow in 2010, but was later stripped of overall victory following a positive test for clenbuterol.
“It’s simply that I want to go back and win it and I feel capable of it,” Contador told Spanish newspaper ABC. “I’ve had a lot of bad luck in this race in recent years, above all because of crashes.”
Contador’s 5th place overall in 2011 was expunged from the record books due to his retroactive ban for his 2010 positive test, and he missed the 2012 Tour as he served out the remainder of his suspension. The Spaniard could only manage 4th overall in a lacklustre showing in 2013, and then crashed out of the following year’s race on the road to La Planche des Belles Filles at the beginning of the second week.
In 2015, Contador betrayed signs of fatigue following his Giro d’Italia victory and had to settle for 5th place in Paris, while he suffered crashes in the opening week of this year’s Tour before illness forced him to abandon in the Pyrenees.
Contador will make his Trek-Segafredo debut at the Ruta del Sol in February, and is expected to mimic his 2016 programme by then riding Paris-Nice, the Volta a Catalunya and the Tour of the Basque Country. While new teammate Bauke Mollema will lead Trek-Segafredo at the Giro d’Italia, Contador will be in sole command at the Tour, with the Dutchman on hand to support him.
“It’s a big, balanced team with enough potential to take on this challenge,” Contador said.
In the same interview with ABC, Contador said that he was in “no hurry” to create his own professional team, as he had previously suggested.