Alberto Contador has reaffirmed his plans to target the Giro d'Italia-Tour de France double this year, but has confirmed he has no plans to add a third grand tour, the Vuelta a Espana to his race programme.
Contador repeated his goals for 2015 in an apparent reaction to suggestions from Team Sky’s David López, who cast doubts on Contador’s intentions of racing the Giro-Tour double. López told Marca: "Here at Sky, we don’t believe Contador will race the Giro. In the end, he can change his mind. It won’t be the first time that he’s said one thing and done something else."
Contador's reply was succinct. "I think it has become very clear that racing the Giro and the Tour is our project this year," the Tinkoff-Saxo rider told Radio Marca. "I have the Giro on my mind and have said that since October. There is not the slightest doubt about it."
Contador revealed that the only way he would ride the Vuelta, is if he were again forced to abandon the Tour. Targeting all three Grand Tours in one season is not an objective.
"I don't plan to go a race if I'm not going there to win it, and the Giro and the Tour in a season is a very difficult challenge," he said.
"The Giro is an unpredictable race, often because of the weather, and it is not the best way to prepare for the Tour," he said. "People who don't know much about cycling think a month between one race and another is a reasonable time to recover, but it's not."
One more year, three-week hard work before Ruta del Sol debut
The 2014 Vuelta a Espana winner celebrated his 32nd birthday in December and is in his final year of his contract with Tinkoff-Saxo. He hinted that he will race for at least one-more season and probably stay with Bjarne Riis' team.
"My professional career is in the final stretch," Contador admitted. "I have this season left here at Tinkoff-Saxo, and there are discussions to continue here, or with other teams, but right now, I’d probably stay here. It all depends how the season winds up. I don’t see myself having more than a one-year contract.”
Contador opens his season this coming Wednesday at the Vuelta a Andalucia. He is just coming off a three-week training camp on Tenerife, where he lost only 1.8 kilos. "Less than I would have liked. And very little considering the number of hours of work."
Contador, 32, will start his 2015 season at the Ruta del Sol (February 18-22), in southern Spain this week, where he will face off against Chris Froome (Team Sky). The two are expected to clash with other Grand Tour rivals Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) at Tirreno-Adriatico (March 11-17).
Contador revealed he has lost nearly two kilograms during three weeks of intense training on Monte Teide on the Spanish Canary Islands.
"It's a little less than I would like but it's a small amount considering the number of hours we worked," he said.