Alberto Contador admits that he had a bad day after losing 2’51” on the first mountain stage of Tour de France to La Pierre-Saint-Martin. Despite being disappointed with the result of the day, the Tinkoff-Saxo team captain notes that the Tour is yet to be decided.
After fighting his way up the second part of La Pierre-Saint-Martin at his own rhythm ultimately loosing 2’51” to stage winner Chris Froome, Alberto Contador tells that he did not feel well on the final climb.
“It was a complicated day. I knew it was going to be a climb, where you could lose a lot of time, if you weren’t in form and that’s what happened. It was the stage after the rest day, where one could lose a lot of time. I couldn’t breath and I still can’t – so I couldn’t get rid of the lactic acid in my legs and I couldn’t follow the pace. It was a bad day, and we’ve seen that Froome was better than everybody else. I was unable to follow the pace, not only of Froome but also of other riders”, comments Alberto Contador before elaborating:
“This is cycling, you have good days and you have bad days. I wasn’t able to see much of the race but I saw that Froome was able to accelerate away, when he wanted. Movistar’s pace was not much of a problem to me, but the pace that Sky set was higher. At some point, I had to follow my own pace and find the rhythm and I’ve definitely had better days”.
After stage 10, Alberto Contador sits 6th in the GC, 4’04” seconds off the race lead. However, the former winner underlines that many mountains still lies ahead.
“The Tour is a very long race and it’s true that today I wasn’t in top shape, nevertheless I can also be in a situation, where my shape is much more similar to the shape Froome had today, so I don’t take it for granted that he will win the Tour. We have just entered the mountains and the race is not concluded yet”, adds Contador.
Team Head Sports Director Steven de Jongh remains poised and looks to tomorrow’s mountain stage for confirmation.
“It’s too early to say what we can do to change our situation in the GC. We will sit down this evening and analyze today and then we’ll see how Alberto is tomorrow. We all know Alberto, he is a great fighter and he won’t lose spirit but keep fighting on. He will naturally do everything to get back on top and the entire team will of course support him as much as we possibly can”, says Steven de Jongh, who adds about today’s GC battle on the final climb:
“It’s obvious that today was quite a blow for us. Alberto lost time and he didn’t have a good day like several other GC riders. The team gave their best to support him but it is clear to everybody that he wasn’t at his best. Today was very hot and the final climb was ridden at a very high and consistent pace, which drained the energy out of many riders in the bunch today”, finishes Steven de Jongh.