Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Alberto Contador's Daily Stage Report

"My attack was worth it, because big favorites lost several minutes today”

Alberto Contador earned the white jersey for best young rider today. He conquered the Galibier and took 5th place in the GC, a hefty reward for his spectacular attack 5 km from the summit.

He said the strategy of the day was foreseen in part. “It’s true that we were looking for a stage win with Gusev, Hincapie, or Popovych, but I was a little surprised that nobody moved on the Galibier. I expected to see Moreau and Mayo try it, and when that didn’t happen, I decided to attack with 5 km left. We ran into a headwind in the last 40 km, so it didn’t work out, but we put on a good show.”

Certainly, Contador would have preferred that “we weren’t caught by the leader’s group, but I’m convinced we profited by our maneuver. You never know what can happen in the Tour. Those that lost time today could force me to lose it later.”

Contador knew that his efforts were worthwhile. “Today there have been big favorites who lost several minutes in the GC, like Schleck, Kashechkin, Vinokourov, and Menchov. Also, I wanted to give it a go. Besides, among all of us, we have to try to create some excitement.”

The Alps are history now in the Tour 2007, so Contador is starting to think about what will happen in the Pyrenees. “The first thing is to see what’s left of the GC after the time trial, and who takes yellow, because if the new leader is Evans, for example, the race will change. Anyway, it’s certain that the Pyrenees will be action-packed, and every day different.”

About the race favorites, Alberto said that “now the group is more closed, with people who are separated by gaps. We will all meet again in the Pyrenees, which will be a different story from the Alps.”

Alberto’s results today:

Stage 9 4th 0:40
Young rider 2nd 0:40

GC 5th 3:08
Young rider 1st

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