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"I don't think it is too early to have the jersey. It would be a different story if we wanted to keep it all the way to Milan. We came to fight for victory on the last day. The jersey is a nice present for tomorrow, but then&n...

Photo: Tinkoff - Saxo

ALBERTO CONTADOR

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GIRO D'ITALIA

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13.05.2015 @ 21:36 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tinkoff-Saxo’s Alberto Contador moves into the overall race lead in Giro d’Italia after an attack from our captain sparked a battle for the pink jersey on the final climb to Abetone. Team Owner Oleg Tinkov congratulates his team leader, who himself notes that this is just a taste of what is to come.
 
An attack with 4.7km to go from Contador wrecked havoc in the favorites group, where Fabio Aru and Richie Porte were the only pre-race favorites able to respond. After a trip to the podium, Contador underlines that he’s delighted to put on the pink jersey despite the Giro still being in its initial phase.
 
“I didn’t think I’d have the pink jersey so early in the race, as the main objective is to wear it in Milan at the final stage of the Giro. This is just a taste of what is to come, as the race is just getting started. Of course I’m really happy to be in the pink jersey because everybody knows how much I like the Giro d’Italia and how big an experience this jersey is – also for me. We might not try too hard to keep it, for now, but it will be up to the others to take it away from me”, says Alberto Contador before elaborating on what is to come.
 
After initial groundwork from a well-represented Tinkoff-Saxo squad, Alberto Contador lit the fuse with an attack 4.7k from the line on Abetone.
 
“I took the decision to attack on the final climb to test my rivals. I didn’t feel super, but the result and outcome was positive and by the end of the climb I felt as if I had good legs. We’ve distanced Uran but I also saw that Porte and Aru are in good shape”, adds Alberto Contador, who now leads Giro d’Italia with 2 seconds over Fabio Aru, who took bonus seconds on the line.

 

"I don't think it is too early to have the jersey. It would be a different story if we wanted to keep it all the way to Milan. We came to fight for victory on the last day. The jersey is a nice present for tomorrow, but then another rider can take it," he added.

 

"When you change bikes, you can play around with different types of tyre, different bearings and so on," he said referring to his bike change. "It's no good for 200km, but it's useful for 30 or 40km. I think it is good for cycling that there are equipment changes, like in motorsport. And all the stories about motors in bikes I think are a joke, a science fiction story. 

I think both of them [Porte and Aru] are strong. Aru, especially, as a climber, although in the time trial that is approaching, he'll have to take his chances. Richie, because the time trial plays to his strengths. Compared with when he was my team-mate, he's much more mature, experienced and skinny [laughs]. And he's a better time traillist now. But the Giro d'Italia so far has just been an aperitif. The race has only just started. It's surprising that Urán has lost so much time in so few stages but there is a lot of Giro d'Italia to come and anything can still happen."

For Tinkoff-Saxo’s team owner Oleg Tinkov, stage 5 became a happy milestone, as it was the first time in pink for him as a team owner.
 
“It’s safe to say that today was a special day thanks to my team’s effort. I’ve won four stages in the Giro d’Italia but I’ve never had the Maglia Rosa. It’s the first pink jersey for me as team owner and I’m really excited, especially on behalf of the team. I thank Alberto and the whole squad that have delivered a determined effort”, comments Oleg Tinkov, who was very familiar with the final climb to Abetone.

“Abetone is a climb that I visit frequently on my bike rides. My villa is 30k from the start of today’s stage in La Spezia and I know this area very well. So naturally, it’s special to see my team perform in the area where I live and ride myself. Today, we got the confirmation of who our main rivals are and I rest assured that the team will prevail in what appears to turn into a very exciting Giro”, asserts Oleg Tinkov.

Despite some of the focus turning towards the favorites on the final climb, the stage was won by young Jan Polanc (LAM), who kept the favorites at bay as the last man from the early break. According to Tinkoff-Saxo’s head sports director Steven de Jongh, the strategy had been to allow a small breakaway to escape.
 
“In the meeting before the start we spoke about that we should avoid letting a big breakaway go. Instead we could see an interest in a smaller group that wouldn’t be dangerous in the GC. Orica took responsibility and controlled much of the stage, while we remained focused on protecting Alberto. In the end, he took the decision to attack, as he knew that he had to drop Chaves in order to take the jersey. He managed to do so, while many GC contenders lost time. I’m pleased with the team’s performance and the guys remain focused on our overall objective”, concludes Steven de Jongh.

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