Alberto Contador expects open Volta a Catalunya

Alberto Contador lines up for the Volta a Catalunya on Monday as one of the pre-race favourites after his win in Tirreno Adriatico earlier this month.

"My form from Tirreno is good and I hope to recuperate well these days. I was much more tired from the Tirreno than I would have thought." 

The Volta a Catalunya is Contador's third stage race of the season. He finished second to Michal Kwiatkowski in the Volta ao Algare overall classification. The Spaniard took his first victory in over a year in Portugal by winning the fourth stage to Alto do Malhão.

In Tirreno Adriatico the 31-year-old managed to win two stages and the overall classification. "The stages in Italy were very long and demanding. It will take some effort to get started again but I hope I'll feel well. I have been training around Calella [the start and finish of stage 1] and enjoyed the good weather."

For Contador stages 3 and 4 with uphill finishes at La Molina and Vallter 2000 will be pivotal. "It's a very open race. There is not a day of flat racing and here are bonus seconds every day." 

The absence of a time trial in the seven-day stage race in the east of Spain could benefit Contador, but it could also be a disadvantage. "If you take on pure climbers in a race like this, a time trial benefits me but if I race against riders who are better against the clock than I am, it's not." 

Contador starts Volta a Catalunya with a team of young riders and experiences domestiques. He will miss climber Rafa Majka by his side. The Polish rider crashed in the final stage of Paris-Nice a week ago and has not recovered sufficiently. 

Tinkoff-Saxo and Contador will face tough opposition from Team Sky with Chris Froome and Richie Porte as well as from last year's winner Daniel Martin of Garmin-Sharp, Movistar's climbing ace and runner up in Tirreno Adriatico, Nairo Quintana, Paris-Nice winner Carlos Betancur of Ag2R-la Mondiale and Catalunya's own Joaquim Rodríguez of Katusha among others.


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