Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) confirmed that he will target the Giro d'Italia-Tour de France double in 2015 after seeing the full route of next year's Corsa Rosa at the official presentation in Milan.
During the drawn out presentation ceremony, Contador hid the pain in his knee caused by the crash on the final corner of Il Lombardia, but had revealed before travelling to Milan that his 2014 season was over and that he will miss the Tour of Beijing. He was unable to train on Monday morning and will undergo a scan in Madrid to make sure there is no major damage before starting his end of season holidays.
"The Tour of Beijing is not among the most important races on the calendar and what worries me now is the knee. So I want to stop and be sure it is in good condition to start next year," he said.
"As soon as I went out on my bike, I had problems pedalling. After 15 to 20 minutes I saw that it wasn't improving so I came straight back home. I talked it over with the team and we decided that the best thing was to go for a scan on the knee because it was the same one that I hurt in the Tour. We'll do it in Madrid, they've already got all the medical history and we'll start thinking about next year."
Despite going into the winter with an injury, Contador said he was happy with his 2014 season. He crashed out of the Tour de France and suffered a micro-fracture in his right tibia but recovered in time to target and win the Vuelta a Espana. Earlier in the season he also won Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour of the Basque Country. He will end the season second in the UCI WorldTour rankings behind Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).
"On balance the season has been really good, except for the Tour de France, which did not go as I'd have liked," he said. "During the rest of the year I've been very consistent so I'm happy, Though I have to say that it's only been possible because I worked a lot. 2014 has given me some good results but it's also been one of the toughest seasons of my career."
Going for the Giro-Tour double
When one season ends, it is quickly time to think about the next one and Contador confirmed that he will target victory in both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France.
"I'm going to try to do it and we'll see if it's possible. It's hard to win one of them, so to win both of them (in the same year) is even tougher. I'm going to try to do it; nobody's put me under pressure to do it, and we'll see what I can do," he said, speaking to journalists and television after the presentation.
"I'll have a new challenge in my career, because I'l be preparing for the Giro-Tour double from the very first day of the season. I know it'll be really hard, but I want to try to go for it."
Contador liked the balanced nature of the Giro d'Italia route but did not seem happy with the 59.2km time trial from Treviso to Valdobbiadene, suggesting that it better suits Chris Froome.
"It's a different kind of Giro than those I've ridden in the past. On paper it's a fairly balanced Giro, maybe perhaps a little easier than in the past. The time trial is unusual for the Giro. It's maybe longer than I would have liked or placed in the route but we all have to adapt to it, not just me," he said.
"The seven summit finishes will shape the race. There are not too many mountain passes with impossible gradients, even if there's the Mortirolo, but there's a heck of a lot of climbing and your legs will feel that."
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