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“(The GC) is not the most important thing. I’m happy because the team did remarkable work and I was able to finish it off. My physical condition is improving day by day. The work I’ve done this winter is starting to bear f...

Photo: Jacinto Vidarte

ALBERTO CONTADOR

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VOLTA AO ALGARVE

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NEWS
23.02.2014 @ 16:07 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Alberto Contador is back to winning ways after taking stage 4 in the Volta ao Algarve. It was the first time he had won a race for 13 months.

 

He was first to the summit of the Alto do Malhao, a climb on which he also won in the same race in 2010 (where he won his second of two Algarve GCs).

 

The Spaniard bided his time until the final kilometre when he struck out for home, as he knew that he could not make up enough time to take the Yellow Jersey from Michal Kwiatkowski (OPQS) on the short but steep climb.

 

“It’s true that I already had some references on this climb, which has been good to me before,” Contador said, according to L’Équipe. “Today I was really concentrated on winning this stage more than on the general classification because I knew there wouldn’t be big gaps at the finish.”

 

Contador is now second on GC as he finished 3 seconds clear of Rui Costa and moved ahead of the home favorite. He also took 10 seconds from Kwiatkowski. He is 16 seconds down overall now; a gap that is insurmountable considering the final stage is a sprint.

 

“It’s not the most important thing,” Contador said of the overall win. “I’m happy because the team did remarkable work and I was able to finish it off. My physical condition is improving day by day. The work I’ve done this winter is starting to bear fruit.”

 

He has kept his off the bike media work to a minimum this winter, save for a trip to London to announce Oleg Tinkov’s purchase of his team and his DS Philippe Mauduit believes this had made a big difference.

 

“Alberto realised that he was spending more time on planes that he was training,” Mauduit told L’Équipe. “He knows that success is the result of training and rest. We’ve found again the Alberto Contador who knows how to win. You could already see that in his face, his attitude, his voice and his legs. Alberto needs to win.”

 

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