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

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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) at the Vuelta a Andalucia.

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) at the Vuelta a Andalucia. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) leaves his rivals behind

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) leaves his rivals behind (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo)

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

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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Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for Cyclingnews.com, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.