“The Pyrenees will be crucial”
Last week, Alberto Contador traveled to France from Lugano for the recognition of the stages of Pyrenees and the last time trial of the Tour 2014. Accompanied by Jesús Hernández, the leader of Tinkoff-Saxo made a break in his first training block before making an altitude camp prior to Dauphiné Libéré, that will be his last race before the French tour. “The Pyrenees will mark the Tour this year, although already it will have been passed the Vosges and the Alps”, says Alberto. “After the Vosges and the Alps, the Pyrenees will have a particular hardness”, said Contador. “Saint Lary stage will be really rough. With 124 km, is not long, but more than half is uphill, with Portillon, Peyresourde and Val Louron before the final climb. It will be a fast day and difficult to control for the leader. It gives options to make tactical moves”.
Regarding Hautacam stage, Alberto believes it will be “an easier day to control. There are two small climbs before Tourmalet, but the highlight is that after it’s descent, there are few kilometers to the start of Hautacam, which may result on some movements already in the Tourmalet”. Alberto, who did not know this last climb, says it’s “really hard, and specially being the last mountain stage of the 2014 Tour”.
Alberto Contador points out that Pyrenees 2014 “will be the third mountain block after the Vosges, which will cause heavy wear and will mark first differences, and the Alps, perhaps less hard than other occasions. The
three Pyrenees stages will be crucial, because if the leader has a bad day can lose everything”.
Besides Pyrenees, Contador also studied the course of the last time trial, which he said will be “very demanding because of its length, 54 kilometers. It will be one of the hardest days of the entire race, depending on how the classification was at that time, but lately it has been the stage that has inclined the scale. I would have preferred to have a pair of climbs, like last year, but you have to adapt to the course and I hope I’ll have a good day”, concluded the leader of Tinkoff-Saxo.
(Automatic translation. Forgive inaccuracies).