Contador thinking of the Tour

By Antonio J. Salmerón After a strong beginning of the 2007 season, Discovery Channel's Alberto...

By Antonio J. Salmerón

After a strong beginning of the 2007 season, Discovery Channel's Alberto Contador has been busy training in the mountains to prepare for the Tour de France prior to arriving at the Dauphiné Libéré.

"I am here to reach my peak form for the Tour," said the Spanish climber to Cyclingnews. "Surely I will prove myself in some stages, but this race is too demanding," he added, referring to the Dauphiné.

"I know that there is a prologue time trial and two others of about 40 kilometres, and a hard stage finishing on the Mont Ventoux. I think that I can do very well at the long time trial stage and in the high mountains," Contador predicted. "The main contenders will be those who are going to contest the Tour, but, at the same time, they will save a little. Perhaps, the winner will be a very strong rider, but not a team leader for the Tour? Someone for whom Dauphiné is a great opportunity," speculated this year's Paris-Nice winner.

After training on some of the mountain stage routes for the Tour of France, Contador said, "My first conclusion is that the Pyrenees will be much harder that the Alps. The Tignes stage [8] will be very hard, because it has very long climbs. It seems like it will be a key-stage. Another dangerous stage [9]finishes in Briançon, with the Galibier climb en route, but I do not believe it will be as key as the Tignes stage."

"In the Pyrenees there is a pair of stages with tough finishes, especially the one in Plateau de Beille climb [stage 14], which comes right after the Albi time trial [stage 13]. The one with the Peyresourde and the Aubisque climbs [stage 16] will also be tough, not forgetting the Marie Blanque climb at the end of it," finished Contador.

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