After losing 1:20 on the opening stage of the Tour de France, Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard) conceded an additional 22 seconds in Sunday's team time trial and is now in 75th place. The defending champion is not discouraged, however, and is looking forward to proving himself in the upcoming climbs.
Contador said that he would not give up. “Throwing in the towel is the last thing I would do. Now there are riders who have more options to win, but there is no reason to throw in the towel” he said in a statement after the stage.
He praised the team's performance in the team time trial, in which it placed eighth, at 28 seconds. He was “happy, because my team gave everything, as I did. We went all out and now we must think of the next few days and try not to have a recurrence of yesterday (Saturday), when we had bad luck.”
From here on, he said that it “will be a different Tour, we will face it with another point of view. The important thing now is to pass the days until we reach the mountains to see how we are.” And, after all, the mountains are “my forte."
On Sunday, AS reported that Saxo Bank-SunGard team had decided to appeal Contador's loss of 1:20 on the opening stage, claiming that his deficit should only have been 34 seconds.
Contador got caught in the crash 8km from the finish and was held up. He tried to catch up but, with a gap of only 34 seconds, was then stopped by yet another large crash just within the 3km limit. That crash blocked the road and cost him an additional 46 seconds.
Bjarne Riis confirmed that the team had considered launching a formal appeal, but decided not to do so after discussions with race official and commissaires on Saturday evening.
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