Alberto Contador is currently putting the final touches to his participation at the Volta a Catalunya, the third of four races in which he will participate in the first part of the season. For that reason, he considers the Volta to be “a very important race in this first block of the season and so I would like to perform well,” says Tinkoff’s leader.

In addition, he will be on the start line alongside some of the peloton’s most important riders. “The level of the line-up can only be matched, probably, by the Tour de France,” says Contador. “There are so many rivals that there isn’t any in particular that can be singled out, because virtually all teams will bring a favourite, who will be flanked by a very strong squad.”

After finishing second at Paris-Nice where he starred in a thrilling race finale, Contador hopes to “head to the race well, because it was very cold in France, and one of the stages had to be cancelled due to snowfall. A lot of us that were there got a cold. I was one of them and for that reason, this week I focused myself, above all, on trying to recover in order to be able to take the start at the Volta a Catalunya.”

Tinkoff’s leader states that the cold “causes me to doubt a bit, but I hope to have totally recovered at the start, even if it might cost me a bit more in the first days. However, I have a good foundation and I trust my body will respond well.”

In what regards the course, without any time-trial and with two summit finishes, Alberto Contador hopes, especially, “to be lucky and have good weather, because otherwise here as well something similar to Paris-Nice or the Tirreno could take place and be forced to cancel a summit finish. Apart from that”, continues Contador, “the two summit finishes will mark the race. La Molina isn’t really tough and differences there are always slim, although this year there are two mountain passes. As far as Port Ainé is concerned, I’m not familiar with it. I think it’s quite an irregular climb but since the previous day we would have already climbed various mountain passes, it will be the stage to mark the race the most. However, three more days will remain in which we will have to be very attentive.”

Finally, regarding the squad that will flank him in Catalonia, Alberto highlights “the trust I have in them. It’s a good group and the only regret is that one of the teammates that was due to race, Sergio Paulinho, cannot do it because of an injury, while we have another one with a cold like me, but I hope he recovers and finds himself in form at the start.”