Alberto Contador, winner of this year's Giro d'Italia and the 2007 Tour de France, travelled to Beijing yesterday with the focus of helping his country take a medal in the road race on Saturday or the time trail the following week.
"I hope to arrive in good form, mainly for the time trial [August 13]. I would like to be able to be with the best and to play a good role in both events," Contador said. The closing stage of the Giro d'Italia was the last time he competed in a time trail. He finished the stage 11th, 39 seconds behind Italy's Marco Pinotti but won the race overall.
Saturday's Clásica San Sebastián was Contador's last road race in Europe before travelling to China. He finished a creditable but not spectacular 26th, while Alejandro Valverde, Spain's team captain for the road race, won the race.
Once in China, Contador and his team-mates will acclimates themselves in the five days leading to the road race. One of Contador's biggest concerns is how is body may respond to the humid climate. He will however support Valverde, along with the team's three other members – Carlos Sastre, Oscar Freire and Samuel Sánchez. He believes the team has a good chance of a podium spot.
"I believe that anyone of us is able to win a medal. What we should do is to speak in race and to bet on the one who is going best. The important thing is to win a medal for Spain – it does not matter who get it."