Alberto Contador has returned from Africa after conquering the highest peak of his career, the 5895 meters Kilimanjaro with 70 percent of the members of Tinkoff-Saxo, which also managed to climb the mountain after a hard walk up during five days marked by a harsh climate. “It was a new experience in which the whole team has been together, sharing good times and some really complicated. The weather has not helped us, for the first three days it rained a lot and did not have time to dry the clothes we wore, like tents and sleeping bags”, said Alberto Contador. “More than the physical exertion or altitude, as until then we didn’t pass 3,800 meters, the worst of the first days was the rain”.
“Of course, the real test was the climb to the summit in the last day”, continued the leader of Tinkoff-Saxo. “We went from the last camp, located at 4,600 meters, to Uhuru Peak, 5.895 m, the highest point of Kilimanjaro. That day we got up at half past eleven p.m. to reach the summit at sunrise, but three hours early to go to sleep for a few hours, it was snowing a little and with an impressive wind. It was hard to think on climbing, but luckily when we got up the wind gave us a little respite and we decided to try”.
Alberto wanted to face a mountain so high. “It was a new challenge for me because I didn’t knew my body’s response to altitude, but the sensations I had were pretty good. Only by passing the 5400 meters step I noticed some discomfort in the stomach that quickly disappeared, which kept me going at a good pace to the top”.
The entire group of Tinkoff-Saxo, with nearly 80 people among riders and technical staff, were organized in small groups, always accompanied by guides to avoid getting lost in the many mountain trails. “In my case went together Valgren, Kiserlovski and a guide” recalls Contador. “We had difficult moments. Although I was lucky that the altitude did not affect me, there were teammates who went bad and had to turn back, others needed help to get to the summit and there were others than back to camp not remembered anything that had happened. That was partly the aim of this expedition, to face situations that involved union and fellowship, and I think we have achieved it, although it was not easy”.
For Alberto Contador and the rest of the components of Tinkoff-Saxo, the expedition to Kilimanjaro “has been a pretty good experience that marks the start of the 2015 season, probably the most challenging of my career with the dual objective Giro d’Italia and Tour de France. Now I have to recover from this trip and focus on my own task, which is bicycle”, concluded the latest winner of the Vuelta a España.
(Automatic translation. Forgive inaccuracies).