Contador Remains Confident Following Devastating Tour de France Stage
It was a dramatic and highly unpredictable stage 5 of the 2014 Tour de France that took place in Belgium and Northern France earlier today. The stage will surely obtain a prime position in Tour history books to come.
While Team Sky’s defending Tour champion Chris Froome was forced out of the race after two crashes, which happened even before reaching the first cobblestone sections, Team Tinkoff-Saxo's Alberto Contador was dropped by the Astana riders Vincenzo Nibali, Jakob Fuglsang and Lieuwe Westra.
When asked to describe today's stage, Contador told RoadCycling.com "It was a very difficult day and I lost a lot of time to Nibali who was in the right spot in the second pavé section where everything fell apart. However, I made it through the day without crashing, which is perhaps the most important thing. My terrain is yet to come."
As a result of the rainy race conditions, Contador experienced a mechanical issue in the final kilometers. The technical error was caused by the mud which had piled up in the bike components.
“With so much mud blocking the small sprockets, I could not keep up. It has been a difficult stage from the start with constant danger, but my team supported me through the day and Daniele Bennati took me across the finish line."
Sadly, the Tour de France champion, Chris Froome abandoned the stage but Contador didn't appear very surprised.
"This is what could be expected from a stage like this with the cobblestones it featured. And it could have been me. It’s a nice show for the viewers at home, but it’s a pretty big risk for the riders. Froome was the number one favorite to get the overall Tour victory and is now out of the race."
Naturally I feel sorry for Froome because preparing for the Tour de France involves months of physical and psychological work and a series of sacrifices on the home front. I’m sorry for him and for the race because it would have been a great spectacle in the mountains to be able to ride against Froome."
Following today's stage 5 of the 2014 Tour de France, general classification competitor Vincenzo Nibali leads the Tour and is 02:37 minutes ahead of Contador in the general classification. Contador, however, claims he isn't worried about Nibali's lead.
"Of course I wish I were in front of him, but seeing how the situation was on the cobbles today, I didn’t want to take more risk than necessary. I’d rather lose a minute more than crash. It is important to remember the Tour has only closed the first of its many chapters."