Alberto Contador will enter Champs-Élyseés as 5th in the GC after the final fight up Alpe d’Huez. On the verge of concluding his daunting Giro-Tour attempt, the Tinkoff-Saxo team leader tells that he would have regretted not having tried. Team sports director Steven de Jongh applauds the team performance noting that the squad has delivered dedicated backing since the start in Utrecht. With a 104-point lead, Sagan heads to Paris with the green jersey secured.
Standing across the finish line after the final GC showdown of the Tour de France 2015, Alberto Contador underlines that it was the right decision to try out for the double, while he admits that he will recalibrate his approach in the 2016 season.
“It’s true that there are riders that would dream of finishing fifth. For me that was not my objective but I’m glad that I tried. If I hadn’t tried then after my career I might have wondered whether I could have done the Giro-Tour double and now I know. I don’t think it’s impossible to do the double but it’s really complicated because nobody has the experience on how to prepare it. However, I prefer having tried than being left with a desire to do it. For next year I plan my season similar to that of 2014 - to enjoy the start of the season in top shape and to do the Tour and then the Olympics. I think that next year’s Olympics is hard and as such can adapt to my style, which doesn’t happen often”, says Alberto Contador before adding about stage 20:
“It was very hard, I particularly felt fatigued and it’s also true that the crash three days ago took its toll. I can say I’m satisfied because I did an acceptable Tour. I think that Quintana did a good race today but couldn’t take more time on Froome because his team rode in an intelligent way. Next year we will completely change the plan and we will fully focus on the Tour with different ambitions and one goal. Now the focus for me is on 2016”.
“The truth is that this year, although the start of my season was quite calm, the main problem was the requirements of the Giro. I think that this Giro was very hard from the beginning due to Astana’s performance and left me exhausted everyday with long time trials and the final week, which was marked by extraordinary efforts. As a result, although my mind wanted to proceed my body needed more rest”, sums up Alberto Contador.
Stage 20 from Modane to Alpe d’Huez took the riders 110.5km across the HC climb of Col de la Croix de Fer before concluding the general classification up the Alpe d’Huez. Tinkoff-Saxo Head Sports Director Steven de Jongh notes that the team suffered but then overcame a difficult moment on Croix de Fer.
“Everybody gave their absolute best today and in the end we competed in a very nice ambience up Alpe d’Huez, which is just one of the best settings in this sport. In the beginning of the stage, we tried to put Rafal in the break but they didn’t give him any space, as he was a threat to the mountains jersey. Alberto had a difficult moment on Croix de Fer and then Rafal had a flat tire. However, Alberto overcame this and on the descent from Col du Glandon, Roger and Kreuziger made it back into the front GC group before we went full speed into Alpe d’Huez. Rafal did a really good job for Alberto and supported him on the climb”, states Steven de Jongh.
Peter Sagan leads the points classification by 104 points and tells that working for Contador makes it even more special to head into Paris wearing green.
“Every year it’s different to fight for the green jersey and I think it’s more difficult to get the 2nd, 3rd and 4th green jersey. For sure I had a more diverse job here than the other sprinters but still I felt very well and I also tried my best after the flat stages to do something and overall I think it went well. It made taking the green jersey even more worthwhile that I had to work for Alberto, while a sprinter like Greipel could focus on the sprints. I have enough points, but I still have to cross the line in Paris”, says Peter Sagan before concluding.
“I did a very aggressive Tour de France from the start and until the last four mountain stages that were more for the climbers but still I did my best and this year I felt strong. But it’s not over yet. Now we will see how I will finish this Tour off on tomorrow’s stage”.