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“I’m satisfied with this tour, and of course especially with my performance yesterday. But at this moment of the season there will always be greater variations between the daily shape on each stage. Yesterday, I had a great feel...

Photo: Tinkoff-Saxo




21.02.2015 @ 19:34 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The scene was once again set for a GC-battle on the finishing climb to Alto de Allanadas. Alberto Contador and Chris Froome once again proved the strongest of the favorites in another early-season showdown, but this time it was the Brit who drew the longest straw. Alberto Contador crossed the finish line 29 seconds behind Froome, who now leads the race with just two seconds, on the eve of Sunday's final stage.
Tinkoff-Saxo took control again on today’s stage 4 of Vuelta a Andalucía and rode in front, keeping the breakaway within reach and supporting team leader Alberto Contador. On the finishing climb, however, the tables had turned and it was Chris Froome’s turn to take the win. Asked if he was satisfied after the stage, Contadorreplied:
“I’m satisfied with this tour, and of course especially with my performance yesterday. But at this moment of the season there will always be greater variations between the daily shape on each stage. Yesterday, I had a great feeling – today, I didn’t have the same legs”.


"There are days with good legs and others with not so good legs. When they are good, you have to exploit it. In that sense, I am very happy with the sensations. This is according to my plan. Yesterday I could manage my pace on the climb whereas now the feelings were not the same, but I think it was a nice show and Vuelta a Andalucía is still a great race."


"I'm very happy with my preparation. I have the plan to start a bit slower than in other years as I am thing about the Giro and everything is perfect. Everyone has his own objectives and mine are the Giro and the Tour."


"I think I should have tightened the screws a bit more yesterday," he said with a laugh. "Now I am thinking about those two seconds. In cycling you never know.


"It was hard and with the rain it seemed like we had done the Paris-Roubaix. I used a 39x30, maybe it was a little too much as my wheel was still skidding a bit. Now we have to rest, recover and keep improving.


"It is a very strong attack,really strong. He did not stop, did not stop, did not stop, and I saw that the best I could do was to recover a little and that is what I preferred to do. He could not control the difference because in the end you do not calculate the time in such a short distance. I knew that he was likely to take the lead.

“After the stage yesterday, people said that I was perhaps in too good a shape at this moment in my race schedule. But everything is going according to the plan and I’m on track with my preparations ahead of my season goals”, comments Alberto Contador, who sits 2nd in the GC after today’s stage, while leading the points classification.

Stage 4 from Maracena to Alto de Allanadas was marked by 202 kilometers in cold, winter temperatures with downpour on most of the stage. Judged by the grimaces pulled in the peloton, the weather made for a tough stage. Going into the final climb, Team Sky came to the fore and launched several attacks to drive up the pace. With a few kilometers to go, the last man of the early break was caught, after which Chris Froome launched his attack.
Alberto Contador attached to the wheel of the Brit, however, eventually had to let go and a fight for seconds began as the gap stabilized. Despite Alberto getting his second wind on the final 500 meters he passed on the leader’s jersey with just two seconds.

About the team’s overall performance, Tinkoff-Saxo DS Steven de Jongh said “the team did a fine job all day in the front of the peloton and took a lot of wind. They worked to set up the stage for Alberto, but on the last kilometers Froome was the best on the day. But I’m very positive. We all saw what Alberto did yesterday and in the early season you have good and bad days”.
“Tomorrow is the last stage. It will be a fast one but the road kicks up in the very last kilometer. Normally the GC is set by now, but we’ll see what happens tomorrow”, finishes Steven de Jongh.



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