Alberto Contador and Peter Sagan attended Tinkoff-Saxo’s press conference, where a big crowd of journalists covering the Tour de France asked the two stars to elaborate on their view of Tour de France 2015 and the team chances. Team captain Contador noted that “I have done everything in my power to face the Tour in the best shape possible.
With just two days to the start of the 2015-edition of the worlds biggest cycling race and sporting event, Tinkoff-Saxo is gearing up to embark on the main goal of the season. After a group training session, where the team fielded the brand new team colors, Alberto Contador responded to the hot topics ahead of the start in Utrecht:
What was the first moment, where you started thinking about the Giro-Tour double?
“It was before the last Vuelta a España because I arrived there without the best preparations and with a lot of doubt about the race and my chances. And there I started thinking about trying the double this year, if I were able to do a good Vuelta”.
In which condition do you arrive at the Tour after the last race? Have you recovered?
“I arrive in good shape. I have planned my training and rest and followed it very carefully and at this moment I think I have recovered well physically and also mentally, which could also be even more important”.
Tour de France 2015
Would you say that there are four favorites for this year’s Tour de France?
“I want to have the same approach as in previous years. I have prepared well and I have been focused on this for the last many months. But if we should evaluate the favorites, I would say that there are four favorites that everybody talks about but I think that there could probably be more riders like Bardet, Purito and Valverde. However, right now the most important is to focus on the Tour day by day”.
Other teams like Astana and Sky have made a lot of changes from their Giro squads to their Tour squads, while Tinkoff-Saxo has selected many riders that also rode the Giro. What is the reason behind this?
Each team has its own planning and it’s true that we have five riders in our squad, who also did the Giro. But each of these riders has a lot of experience and much strength and I think that they have the capacity to recover well from the Giro. I have a lot of confidence in them and hope that the level of the team will be even better than that of the Giro”.
If you look back on the period from the Giro to the Tour, would you say that the period of rest was too short and do you think that you can be physically fit and rested enough to win?
“This is something new for me, we will see how I have recovered, but I knew that I had 33-34 days to the Tour and I have sacrificed everything to make sure that I would be here in the best shape possible. Every minute, every day I have been working for this objective with rest, with food, without any celebration – I have been absolutely focused on the bike. I hope that everything will come together. Mentally I’m fine and about my body, we will have to wait and see, but I’m happy with my condition at this moment”.
How do you see this Tour and especially the first week with a lot of difficult stages? How do you prefer to finish this first week?
“Of course I would prefer to have a 20-minute advantage over the second rider after the first week but that could be very complicated (Laughs). No, the first objective is to try and avoid crashes and this is the most important because the first week could prove very complicated. We have an opening time trial, then we could have wind on the second day and then we have the Mur du Huy and the cobbles, which will all be difficult days. The main goal will be not to lose the Tour during the first week”.
Can you tell us why you want to win the Giro-Tour double?
I think the most important thing – in life, not only in cycling – is motivation, so for me it’s my own motivation that is the reason I want to try and win the Giro-Tour double. But also, if I win another Tour it is not something that will let alone change my career but if I can win the double it will be something that people will remember easily and that is motivation for me as well”.
Tour de France 2015
Last year you stated that you started the Tour with the best sensations in your life, can you compare last year with this year?
“If I have to choose between the sensations I had in my legs last year and this year, I think I would choose last year’s. It’s because I had done a very intensive and focused preparation and training leading up to the Tour and I didn’t have any doubts about my recovery. I come here with a very clear objective and that is to win the Tour. But I know that it is really difficult, as this Tour is very open and now we have to take it day by day and we will see the final result in more or less 25 days”.
What are you most worried about; your rivals or your recovery after the Giro?
“The thing I think mostly about is my recovery and how my body will respond to this challenge, when we are in the middle of the Tour, since this Tour could perhaps be my last Tour with a lot of mountains and a very hard first week. The last week is very tough and the final six days are very intensive. So it will be a quest and constancy will be the most important factor”, finishes Alberto Contador.