Despite saying that he had no ambitions of winning the Dauphiné Libéré - and after a two-month break from racing - Alberto Contador finished an impressive second in the race's opening time trial in Nancy on Sunday.
A runner-up to winner Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) by only eight small seconds, the Astana rider said his performance was a test for his new Trek TTX time trial bike. "I have no ambitions on the overall race, and it would be stupid to risk anything so close to the Tour," the Tour de France favourite told L'Equipe. "But I said that this time trial was interesting to me because it gave me the opportunity to test my new bike for the Tour's time trials. If I went a bit hard, it was only for this reason. Had it been raining, I wouldn't have taken any risks."
The conditions were good enough for Contador to give the newly designed Trek TTX frame a serious trial. The Spaniard was quite satisfied: "I finished second in a time trial after 60 days of without racing, and I think that's not too bad," he said. "But I also felt that I am still a bit short on explosiveness, especially on the climb."