Skip to main content

Contador happy to add L’Alpe d’Huez to his palmares

Image 1 of 18

Brajkovic tried to shake Contador loose on the final climb.

Brajkovic tried to shake Contador loose on the final climb.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 2 of 18

Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) put in a solid climb up L'Alpe d'Huez.

Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) put in a solid climb up L'Alpe d'Huez.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 3 of 18

Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) finishes fifth.

Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) finishes fifth.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 4 of 18

Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack) finishes the stage and keeps his yellow jersey.

Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack) finishes the stage and keeps his yellow jersey.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 5 of 18

Overall race leader Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack)

Overall race leader Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 6 of 18

Points classification leader Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack)

Points classification leader Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 7 of 18

Alberto Contador (Astana) is victorious atop L'Alpe d'Huez

Alberto Contador (Astana) is victorious atop L'Alpe d'Huez
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 8 of 18

Alberto Contador celebrates his stage win for Team Astana.

Alberto Contador celebrates his stage win for Team Astana.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 9 of 18

Alberto Contador (Astana) wins the penultimate stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné

Alberto Contador (Astana) wins the penultimate stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 10 of 18

Alberto Contador (Astana) on the podium after a stage win.

Alberto Contador (Astana) on the podium after a stage win.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 11 of 18

Alberto Contador (Astana) gives his trademark salute.

Alberto Contador (Astana) gives his trademark salute.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 12 of 18

Alberto Contador (Astana) leads a tenacious Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack)

Alberto Contador (Astana) leads a tenacious Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 13 of 18

Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel Euskadi) leads the mountains classification.

Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel Euskadi) leads the mountains classification.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 14 of 18

Tejay Van Garderen (Team HTC - Columbia) finishes 11th in the stage.

Tejay Van Garderen (Team HTC - Columbia) finishes 11th in the stage.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 15 of 18

Tejay Van Garderen (Team HTC - Columbia) is immediately supported after crossing the line atop Alpe d'Huez.

Tejay Van Garderen (Team HTC - Columbia) is immediately supported after crossing the line atop Alpe d'Huez.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 16 of 18

Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) nears the top.

Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) nears the top.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 17 of 18

Alberto Contador (Astana) wins on L'Alpe d'Huez

Alberto Contador (Astana) wins on L'Alpe d'Huez
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
Image 18 of 18

Alberto Contador (Astana)

Alberto Contador (Astana)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)

Alberto Contador added a stage victory at L’Alpe d’Huez to his long list of triumphs as he won the queen stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

He was unable to take the overall race lead from a hugely impressive Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack), but it was the Spaniard's first appearance on the legendary climb in the French Alps and he was happy just to win the stage.

"The history of this climb definitely motivated me to win today," Contador said in the post-race press conference.

"My condition is far from excellent yet, but yesterday I watched videos on the internet of (Marco) Pantani, Lance (Armstrong) and others riding for the win up here; that’s why I wanted to win it as well. More than the win itself, I wanted it because it was L’Alpe d’Huez."

"My team worked for that from the start," said Contador. "This was in important test as I work on the condition I want to have at the Tour de France. I’m not at my best yet but I’m very happy with the outcome of today’s stage."

Contador attacked several times but never managed to drop Brajkovic. The wind and the braveness of the young Slovenian blunted Contador's attacks, and so he focused on winning the stage.

Contador accepts defeat

Contador indicated that he knows it will now be almost impossible for him to pull back the 1:41 deficit he has on Brajkovic in the race's general classification.

"I raced for two years on the same team as Brajkovic, I know his qualities," he said. "He’s very professional as a rider and his current state of form is very impressive. I wasn’t surprised by his performance against the clock. I’m also not surprised by the way he defended his yellow jersey today. He’s a very deserved winner of the Dauphiné."

There is one stage remaining at the Critérium du Dauphiné, with five ascents of the Côte de Domancy around Sallanches. Bernard Hinault dropped Giambattista Baronchelli to claimed his only world title there 30 years ago, and Contador believes Brajkovic will be able to keep the race lead. He is happy with second overall.

"For me, it’s mission accomplished at the Dauphiné," Contador insisted. "I came to this race mostly to get good form for the Tour de France. Last year I was third without winning a stage. This time my overall position is about the same, plus I've got two stage wins: the prologue and the most prestigious stage, so I’m very happy with that."

Contador confirmed he will only take part in one more race prior to the start of the Tour de France in Rotterdam on July 3: the Spanish national time trial championships. After that it will all be about a third victory in July.