Giro-preparations running along as planned
With the conclusion of Volta a Catalunya, Tinkoff-Saxo can look back on a week of challenging racing with sickness and a hard crash, which ultimately ended with a 4th place overall for Alberto Contador. The team captain now focuses on recovering from his crash and continuing his preparations ahead of the big goal of Giro d’Italia
As Alejandro Valverde won the last stage of Volta a Catalunya and took full bonification, Alberto Contador moved out of the podium places and into 4th in the overall GC. According to Alberto himself, he was affected by his stage 6 crash.
“This was the toughest stage of the Volta a Catalunya because of the injuries I sustained in yesterday’s crash. The only injury that worries me a little bit right now is in my back. I think that when I crashed yesterday a nerve must have been affected. I felt a sensation of intense heat in my back and I noticed it a bit today going over speed bumps”, says Alberto Contador, who remains confident in his preparations ahead of Giro d’Italia:
“The Volta a Catalunya is over and, again, I now have to recover and focus physically and mentally on the season’s first big target, the Giro d’Italia. Our preparation schedule this year is spread over a longer period in all aspects and right now everything is going exactly as planned”.
Volta a Catalunya 2015
In the end, racing in Catalunya came down to a few seconds in the search for overall glory. Alberto Contador finished 7 seconds behind race winner Richie Porte and only 2 seconds off the podium.
“Despite the crash, I’m happy with my performance and my current form. A lot of people might compare my performance with that of last year but they are two completely different years. Last year my main goal was the Tour and the first peak in my performance took place in spring. This year this peak has to take place later. I now have to fully recover from my injuries and focus on the Giro d’Italia, which is what obsesses me right now and what I think about every day”, adds the team captain.
With six out of eight riders falling ill from a stomach influenza during the course of the race and having to abandon altogether, it’s safe to say that Catalunya proved a challenge for Tinkoff-Saxo. Despite the depleted team, team sports director Steven de Jongh underlines that the remaining riders fought hard.
“Once again the remaining teammates of Alberto did their very best and Kiserlovski and Valgren proved important today, as Paulinho was also ill today. Despite taking all measures, such as eating separately, he was also feeling bad, when we started this morning”, says Steven de Jongh, who adds that it was difficult to prevent Valverde from taking bonus seconds on the last stage in Barcelona.
“After the crash yesterday, Alberto was not feeling well at all, as he was quite bruised. So he was just happy to stay in the first group. Of course, we would have preferred to finish on the podium, but we knew that Valverde was a big favorite and today, he once again proved his class in the final sprint. Now, we focus on making sure that all the boys recover and we continue to prepare for the Giro d’Italia”, concludes Steven de Jongh.