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Championships an important test for Contador

Alberto Contador is focused on the Tour de France for now.

Alberto Contador is focused on the Tour de France for now. (Image credit: Procycling)

Alberto Contador will start his Spanish national championships in both the time trial and road race this week, and is using the races as preparation for the upcoming Tour de France.

Contador said he is particularly aiming for the time trial, which takes place on Friday, but is unsure of his form after a taking long break from competition after his overall victory in the Giro d'Italia.

"At the time trial I'll go full gas and we will see the result. I spent a month out of competition; I rested a lot but I'm sure I will notice the pace of those who have come from the Dauphiné and the Tour of Switzerland, but I hope to do well," he said.

At age 29, Contador has only one elite national title to his name, having won the time trial in 2009.

The races will be his final ones prior to the Tour de France, which begins on July 2.

"It always helps to do a full gas test at the time trial, especially since on the second day [of the Tour] we have the team time trial and so you get into the position of the bike."

Contador said his national time trial reminds him of the one in Grenoble which was used in the Critérium du Dauphiné and will be the second to last stage of the Tour.

"There are about 500 or 600 metres of climbing in just over 40km and it's a course that suits me," Contador said. "As for the road race, it doesn't suit my characteristics, but is good for sprinters that can get over medium mountains. My goal will be to find my rhythm and to roll a little."

Contador admitted he's been feeling quite a bit of fatigue since the Giro, but that it will be a "mystery" as to how he will respond to the competition.

Joining him at the national championships will be his Tour de France teammates Benjamin Noval, Jesus Hernandez and Dani Navarro. Contador said he is happy with the selections made by Saxo Bank for the team, saying it is a balanced team "with four riders for the flat and four climbers who will support me, who are very motivated and will give one hundred percent".