Contador: I knew I could lose the leader's jersey

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) put a brave face on his defeat at the Alto de Allanadas on Saturday at the hands of Chris Froome (Sky), which cost the Spaniard the overall lead in the Vuelta a Andalucia.

“Some days you are stronger, others less so, and that’s why when you feel good you have to make the most of it,” Contador said. “In that sense, I’m very pleased with how I’m feeling.”

Contador explained that on stage 3’s final ascent to Hazallanas, he was actually holding back a little. On Saturday, however, he struggled. “I didn’t feel so good,” he said. “However, it’s nice that it’s a spectacular, close race. This Vuelta a Andalucia has become a great event.”

Contador argued that he was “very pleased with my build-up in general. Yesterday when I won, everybody said ‘oh he’s going really strongly.’ [But] I have a schedule, in fact I’m going more slowly than other years at this point of the season, with the idea of hitting top form in the Giro and in that sense it’s going well.”

Asked about his duel with Froome, he said that it was “more than a question of [sporting] revenge. Each of us has his own objectives, and mine are the Giro and the Tour,” he added.

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