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Contador back on track in second Vuelta a Espana summit finish

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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) was all smiles despite a difficult start to his Vuelta

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) was all smiles despite a difficult start to his Vuelta
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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff)

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Pre-stage interview time for Alberto Contador (Tinkoff)

Pre-stage interview time for Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) speaks with the press

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) speaks with the press (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff)

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) lost time

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) lost time

After his difficult start to the Vuelta a Espana, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) crossed the finish line in San Andres de Teixero looking and sounding far more upbeat than he has done in the race so far.

Contador completed stage 4 in the same time as all the other main favourites, although he has dropped a spot overall, to thirteenth, after Darwin Atapuma (BMC Racing Team) moved into the lead from the day's winning breakaway.

"We knew it wasn't a very difficult final climb, but the important thing is I felt a lot better," Contador said. "Obviously your legs always hurt after an effort like that, but I feel fine and pleased to have got through another stage."

Contador had said before the stage that it was possible that his poor performance on the Ezaro climb was due to dehydration, given he said he had suffered more than usual in the heat, his pulse rate went very high and he had felt very thirsty. Other sources confirmed that after Ezaro, Contador was so dehydrated he spent roughly two hours in the anti-doping control before he could produce a urine sample.

"I feel pretty optimistic now," he added, "I'll start to try to shake things up a little further on, when I've got the right kind of form that racing can give you."

As a team, Tinkoff will not miss Galicia's constantly undulating terrain, Contador said with a smile - although there are still two more full stages in Spain's most northwesterly region.

"My non-Spanish teammates have joked a lot about how hard the roads are here, and it's certainly been a tough start for the Vuelta, with a team time trial and two summit finishes. Hopefully we'll start to pull back time on my rivals from here on, in whatever opportunities we get from now on."

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