Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) came through Sunday’s Giro d’Italia stage unscathed and within striking distance of the maglia rosa. It’s more than can be said for some of his rivals, who found themselves caught behind a late crash when a spectator rode into the bunch. With only seven seconds separating himself and the Giro d’Italia leader’s jersey, Contador is happy with how the opening weekend panned out for him.
"In the Giro everything can be lost in a moment and we must be vigilant. Right now everything is fine and I feel good. We have to wait for the next stages to see how it all unfolds but at the moment everything is perfect," Contador explained, according to Biciciclismo.
Despite it being a day for the sprinters, the Tinkoff-Saxo team did most of the work on the peloton in the latter stages of the race. It was only when they reached the safety of the three-kilometre mark that they pulled off the front and let the sprinters’ teams take over. Their cautiousness was proved just when some of the overall contenders, namely Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R-La Mondiale), got stuck behind the series of crashes in closing kilometres.
“On a stage like this it is important not to get caught at the back or for a fall to happen as we saw in the last part of the stage," said Contador. "We came with a clear objective, which is to fight for the general classification, and that means going fast but to also avoid the risks. The team worked very well in order to stay safe and avoid any crashes. The best thing to do was to ride at the front.”
Contador remains within touching distance of the leader’s jersey, the closest of all the overall contenders following a strong performance in the team time trial. The first real shake down of the general classification is likely to come this Sunday with the finish at Campitello Matese, but Contador and his team are hoping to keep a tight leash on the peloton before then.
"Tomorrow (Monday) is an important stage, it is very short but hilly terrain and one climb in 136 kilometres. In particular, we need to focus on the first 90 kilometres and control the race then maybe someone can attack," he said.
Stage three of the Giro d’Italia brings the riders from Rapallo to Sestri Levante, with two categorised ascents, including the second category Barbagelata.
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