Tour de France champion Alberto Contador has finally reacted to the speculation prompted by his future team manager Bjarne Riis, who said earlier this week that one of the objectives of their collaboration would be to win three Grand Tours in one season, a feat that has never been achieved before. Contador's brother and agent, Fran, quickly downplayed the supposed objective, but on Friday, Contador again gave it some more momentum.
The Spaniard revealed that while he realises the difficulty of a Grand Tour triple, he does not rule it out completely. "It is a dream, and I don't know if it is impossible," he said. "I think one can race all three Grand Tours on a good level, but from that assumption to say that one can win them - that is very different. I'm aware that it is practically impossible, but maybe one day in the future... It's a dream. Everybody has dreams and that one is mine."
For now, though, he is happy to start off with two Grand Tours next season. "I think I will do two Grand Tours next year. I don't know which ones yet, but I already have to start changing my training system a little and perhaps start the new season a little more relaxed," Contador added.
Fewer disturbances are exactly what Contador is looking for at Saxo Bank-SunGard in the wake of some rather disruptive years at Astana. One of the primary reasons for his change of team was "Riis' seriousness and work philosophy", according to the 27-year-old. "This will give me the tranquillity that I did not have these last few years. He also has great experience in always having directed the best riders. This will allow me to take on all challenges. This was the best choice for me. I'm happy and I'm already eager to start our new project."
Contador also believes that the new alliance will further tighten his grip on the Tour de France, as both Riis and himself can now provide important information to each other. "It's a win-win situation," he continued. "I have managed to win these last couple of years, imposing myself in hard battles, and now I can tell him my feelings and thoughts, just like he can tell me about Andy's weaknesses. It will be a good union."
Contador hopes to take Benjamín Noval, Dani Navarro and Jesús Hernández with him from Astana to Saxo Bank-SunGard, but the deals are not yet finalised. "I will try to make them come, but I also hope that the team will strengthen itself with other new signings," he concluded.