Alberto Contador (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) says that even if he is feeling a little tired after the end of a long first block of racing in the 2013 season, the atmosphere of a major Classic like Liège-Bastogne-Liège will be a big boost to his morale on Sunday, his last race before taking a break.
"These kinds of Classics always have a great atmosphere to them," he told Cyclingnews as he waited to go up onstage at the team presentation on Saturday in Liège, "and that always improves the way you feel about racing here."
"I may not be in top condition because it's been a very intense start to the year and I'm right at the end of that period now. But tomorrow [Sunday] is my last day of racing prior to taking a break and then starting to build up for the Tour and so I will give it 100 percent and try to go out from this first part of the season on a high note."
As Contador - whose previous Liège-Bastogne-Liège, in 2010, netted him a tenth place - has said before, the change of route, with the replacement of the Roche aux Faucons with the Cote de Colonster, is not one that suits him at all.
"It's not a climb that really is not going to be that significant, teams can easily get organised to work hard there to pull back breaks and it's going to make for a very different kind of race as a result. And in my own personal case, it's a route that's far worse for me than what we had previously," he told Cyclingnews.
Contador finished 33rd in La Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday after easing back at the foot of the Mur de Huy. His best performance in a one-day race this year has been third in the Klasika Primavera in the Basque Country.
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.
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