Friday, September 5, 2008

Q & A with alberto contador, rest day at the vuelta

Q: How is the rest day going and how do you think the first week of racing went?

A: I am well enough and I believe that physically I haven’t pushed too hard. These days, I hope, have been good for me, just to fine tune my form for the
key stages that arrive now. I hope to be able to do something good tomorrow.

Q: What do you think we’ll see in the Pyrenees?

A: I think that we will see some favorite riders that will not do too well and other riders who we don’t think of being overall contenders who can become protagonists. Riders like Igor Antón, Damiano Cunego or Robert Gesink. And of course I am curious to find out what Alejandro Valverde, Carlos Sastre and my teammate Levi will do.

Q: Will we see things that the time trial did not reveal?

A: Yes, but tomorrow's last climb is not too hard. It is necessary to be vigilant for an attack because there are many kilometers and the percentage of steepness is not very high. An organized group can take a lot of time.

Q: How does the rest day affect you?

A: I think I’ll be okay and so will everybody else. But it is also true that one of my characteristics is that I recover very well, so maybe it would have suited me
better if there was no rest day just before the mountains. Anyway, I hope to be very well.

Q: And the second stage of Pyrenees?

A: It will be completely different. It is harder, because the Cantó is decisive and then there will be the Bonaigua, which is very long and very steep. On the contrary, it is a much shorter stage, with final in Pla de Beret, which is not so hard, but it will come after many climbs. Between the two stages we will see which GC riders have lost contention.

Q: How do you see Valverde?

A: I see Alejandro as doing very well. He’s very motivated, adding seconds here and there and making a good time trial. He is fighting for stages victories and I think he has won many points for the overall.

Q: Do you believe him when he says that he is not racing for the overall GC?

A: That is a good way of looking at the race, but I believe that he hopes for the overall. When he appears to not be doing so well, then maybe he will stop.

Q: Carlos Sastre?

A: Carlos is a rider with a lot of experience and I believe that he is thinking about the long stages. He has goals in this race and he did a good time trial in relation to the best rivals. Levi has a good advantage over him and Sastre should be one of those in charge of attacking the race.

Q: Who do you fear more?

A: I don't really name names. At the end it is a little of everyone. It will be a difficult race but I don't see anybody more dangerous than another.

Q: What will the strategy of Astana be?

A: We have not spoken yet, but it will depend on the sensations in race. Anyway it is not necessary to attack the race lead. We have the advantage and we have
to ride to counterattack. Leipheimer will also play his role and, in summary, there will be enough options for us.

Q: And are you optimistic about all of it?

A: Yes, certainly. If someone had told me at the beginning that I would be in this situation, I would have been very happy. I believe that we can take
advantage of the situation.

Q: Are you also happy with your team?

A: Yes, everyone is doing very well. We’re very motivated and attentive at all times. There is an extraordinary atmosphere among us. Each one knows
what their responsibility is and because of that we have a very good situation.

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