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"I attacked before what I had initially planned because a number of riders started attacking and nobody was reacting. I paid the price for that in the last 300m of the stage."

Photo: Tinkoff-Saxo




26.03.2015 @ 20:03 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Tinkoff-Saxo’s team captain Alberto Contador had to take matters into his own hands on the final climb to La Molina after a deadlock in the favorites group. He ultimately finished third behind stage winner van Garderen, and moves up to 5th in the overall GC, 28 seconds down on De Clercq, who clings on to the lead from stage 1. A mere two seconds now separate Contador from the podium.


Everything was set up for a big GC showdown on the queen stage to La Molina in Volta a Catalunya. Stage 4 met the expectations to some extent, but the favorites were long in coming and it wasn’t before Alberto Contador attacked with 2k to go in an effort to catch Tejay van Garderen that the big group of favorites got torn to pieces. Despite being overtaken by Richie Porte in the final 300 meters, Alberto Contador notes that he is satisfied with his performance.


“Despite the final result, I’m happy with my performance because my form keeps improving every day ahead of my goal, which is the Giro. The only thing I wish for is to stay healthy and avoid crashes. I focus on recovering and take every day as it comes”, comments Alberto Contador, who’s now 7 seconds away from Richie Porte in 2nd place.


In an effort to bridge the gap to Tejay van Garderen (BMC), who had launched an attack with 3k to go and ultimately won the stage, Alberto Contador had to initiate his attack going into a section of strong headwind.


“It was a fast stage because a number of teams tried to drop the riders of the first stage’s breakaway, which resulted in a high pace from the start. However, the last climb wasn’t tough enough and there was a strong headwind, which made it complicated to build a big gap. I attacked before what I had initially planned because a number of riders started attacking and nobody was reacting. I paid the price for that in the last 300m of the stage”, says Alberto Contador and adds:


“In the remaining stages of Catalunya it will be difficult to move up in the GC although just 2 seconds separate me from the podium. However, we all knew that in this race, bonus seconds would prove important”.


Further down the road, Tinkoff-Saxo suffered a setback with Michael Rogers having to abandon the race. Tinkoff-Saxo DS Steven de Jongh explains:


“As a team it didn’t go very well. Kiserlovski and Basso were dropped in the first part of the race and Rogers had to abandon the race. Jesus Hernandez has been suffering from fever and it wasn’t Valgren’s terrain, so it was difficult. Fortunately Paulinho had a very good day and Majka is also getting better, which is good. So they stayed with Alberto and protected him until the finale”.


“I think that, given the circumstances, Alberto attacked at the right moment, as all the favorites were loosing the stage. Nobody wanted to make the move, so Alberto attacked and I believe he showed himself that his form is on the incline before the Giro, which is what we are working towards. I think Porte was lucky that Kiryienka was there to help him in the final kilometer, but now we’ll see what happens tomorrow and the next couple of days. Maybe we can move up some spots in the GC”, adds Steven de Jongh.


Tomorrow’s 195km stage 5 from Alp to Valls could present the riders with an opportunity to make a move on the category 2 climb Alt de Lilla with 10km to go.



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