Alberto Contador will end his time at the Tinkoff at this week's Abu Dhabi Tour but the Spaniard is already looking forward to 2017 with Trek-Segafredo, confirming that the Tour de France will again be his major goal of the season.
The Spaniard's relationships with team owner Oleg Tinkov seems to have broken down after the Russian's highly critical comments in a recent farewell interview with Cyclingnews. After training in the special white and yellow farewell Tinkoff kit, which evokes the team's original kit from 2008 for the team's final race, Contador preferred to talk about his future rather than his present and past at the Abu Dhabi Tour press conference.
He seemed to rule out any chance of him trying to win the overall classification at the four-day race. There was also no indication that his farewell to Tinkoff will include any sign of emotion. His reply to a question about his last race with the team only sparked a retrospective look at his 2016 season and a look forward to 2017.
"I think I had different emotions during the 2016 season. I was very happy in the first part because my performance was very, very high, one of the highest in my whole career. This changed my vision for the future and I took the decision to continue," he explained.
"I'm not happy with the result in the Tour de France. I trained very hard for this race and with the falls in the first two days, everything went out. I tried to continue but I wasn't in the condition to fight for victory.
"At the Vuelta I also don't have the best memories. It's my home race and so it's special. I enjoyed the race but my objective wasn't to fight for third position but to fight for the win. I crashed before the big mountain stage and we lost big time in the team time trial, which was not good. But it's all motivation for the next year."
Contador described the 2017 Tour de France route as 'muy interesante' in a video message posted on Instagram, pointing out the many steep climbs and testing descents. However, he confirmed that the Tour de France will be his biggest goal in 2017.
He is hoping that hoping Trek-Segafredo will back him with the strongest possible team instead of some how dividing the team across several objectives. This season the Tinkoff team targeted both the yellow jersey with Contador and the green jersey and sprints with Peter Sagan.
"I think the objectives will be clearer in the different races," he replied when asked how 2017 will be different for him.
"It's hard to have a very good team around a leader in all the races and you need a good programme so that the team is 100 per cent at the Tour. I think next year we will look at everything for the overall (classification) and that is crucial.
"I haven't looked at the route in detail, I haven't seen the stage profiles, so it's difficult to say if I like it or not. It's not bad not to have a final 55km flat time trial. I like that it's shorter and think it means the race will be more open until the finale. We will try to take all the opportunities that we have in the race."
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