Alberto Contador is alone among the 'Big Four' of major favourites in tackling both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France this season, but his attempt at the double is by no means a solo act. All year, a core of Contador’s teammates have followed a similarly tailored programme, with a reduced diet of spring racing, and the end result is that the Tinkoff-Saxo roster at this Tour includes no fewer than five of the team that lined up at the Giro in May.
To put that figure in perspective, just two of Sky’s Giro team, Richie Porte and Leopold König, have made it to the Tour to support Chris Froome, while Tanel Kangert is the lone man to double up for Astana. Nairo Quintana’s Movistar, meanwhile, have had the luxury of fielding entirely different teams for each race.
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