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Contador says 2014 Vuelta is harder than when he won in 2012

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Alberto Contador meets some new friends

Alberto Contador meets some new friends
(Image credit: Jacinto Vidarte)
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Alberto Contador stands on the pedals on a climb

Alberto Contador stands on the pedals on a climb
(Image credit: Jacinto Vidarte)
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Alberto Contador talks to the Spanish media

Alberto Contador talks to the Spanish media
(Image credit: Jacinto Vidarte)
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The Tinkoff Saxo riders meet the dolphins

The Tinkoff Saxo riders meet the dolphins
(Image credit: Jacinto Vidarte)
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The tails are up as the 2014 season begins

The tails are up as the 2014 season begins
(Image credit: Jacinto Vidarte)
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The riders reach out a dolphin

The riders reach out a dolphin
(Image credit: Jacinto Vidarte)
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Alberto Contador says hello

Alberto Contador says hello
(Image credit: Jacinto Vidarte)
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The TinkoffSaxo team is training in plain clothig before their team presentation

The TinkoffSaxo team is training in plain clothig before their team presentation
(Image credit: Jacinto Vidarte)
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Contador is training in Gran Canaria with his teammates

Contador is training in Gran Canaria with his teammates
(Image credit: Jacinto Vidarte)
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Alberto Contador enjoys the sun in Gran Canaria

Alberto Contador enjoys the sun in Gran Canaria
(Image credit: Jacinto Vidarte)
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The TinkoffSaxo riders in their plain clothing

The TinkoffSaxo riders in their plain clothing
(Image credit: Jacinto Vidarte)

Alberto Contador thinks the 2014 Vuelta a España is even harder than the 2012 edition he won, confirming that he plans to be at the start in Jerez de la Frontera after also targeting the Tour de France in 2014.

"The uphill finishes are longer than in 2012. That encourages me because I am not an explosive climber. In shorter climbs with huge gradients the explosive climbers can take time on me. But it all depends on the legs I have at that moment."

The Vuelta route was revealed on Saturday and includes eight uphill finishes and three time trials, one team time trial and two individual ones.

"I like the route, yes," Contador commented from the Tinkoff-Saxo training camp on the Canary Islands. "It's the same format as previous years with the spectacle the public wants. It's a race for the pure climbers with the uphill finishes and the time bonuses." 

Contador already confirmed in September that the the Vuelta is on his programme for 2014 but he will ride it after he Tour de France which is a main objective for the Spaniard. He likes the route but doesn't know how good his form will be at the start of the Vuelta in Jerez de la Frontera. 

"It's important to remember that it will be the second Grand Tour I will do at 100 per cent that year. I don't know how I'll be at the Vuelta after I did the Tour de France,"  he said.

Contador is training in plain Sportful kit with his teammates in the sun on Gran Canaria. The riders visited the Palmitos Park Delfinarium near their hotel during a rest day on Sunday. The new Tinkoff-Saxo team and the new jersey will be presented on on Tuesday.

"I am having a good time here. My preparation for the new season is much calmer and more organized than it was. I have to keep working hard but I do things the best way possible and hope it will be rewarded this season. I am optimistic person who enjoys what he does so I am encouraged by how things stand at the moment," Contador said.