Alberto Contador Says Next Four Vuelta Stages Will be Really Hard


09/5/2014| 0 comments
by Mark Watson
Is Team Tinkoff-Saxo strong enough to control the Vuelta a Espana for Alberto Contador? Fotoreporter Sirotti

Alberto Contador Says Next Four Vuelta Stages Will be Really Hard

Russian Team Tinkoff-Saxo and general classification leader Alberto Contador got safely through Thursday’s stage 12 of the Vuelta a Espana 2014 and effectively avoided the crash that occurred as the riders passed the final kilometer mark.

Contador crossed the finish line in front of his general classification rivals, although that did not have much significance, since the time was neutralized.

"There was a crash in the final kilometer but we avoided it and that’s what’s important. One more day done and the team performed well. Now I have to rest, because the next four days will be very tough and important," Contador explained after being celebrated on the Vuelta podium.

As expected, the time was neutralized at the finish line due to the crash, which involved's sprint ace Nacer Bouhanni. For Tinkoff-Saxo’s Spanish captain, the most important goal in today's stage was to be positioned at the front of the peloton in order to remain safe.
"During the stage and in the fast finale, I was in the front of the peloton. My team pulled really hard and I was very well placed at all times thanks to teammates such as Daniele Bennati," Contador explained.

In an interview published on Velonews, Andrew Talansky of competing Team Garmin-Sharp-POC said he does not consider Contador's Team Tinkoff-Saxo strong enough to control the Vuelta race.

"Contador doesn’t have the strongest team, not with the guys he had at the Tour de France," Talansky explained. "He has a great team for the flats, we saw that in the day of the crosswinds, but he doesn’t have a team on a big mountain stage that can control the race 100 percent. I think teams will be looking to take advantage of that."

Friday's stage 13 of the Vuelta a Espana will be a challenging stage and offers the riders a relatively dangerous finish. Contador also expects stages 14-16 to be very demanding for his team and his chances of claiming the Vuelta champion title in this year's race.

"We have some key stages ahead of us and Friday will be a day where we have to be concentrated and on high alert. Especially in the final part. I think Friday will be a busy day and we must be attentive right until the end," Contador concluded.

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