Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank’s Alberto Contador demonstrated unique power and determination today as he was one second away from taking the red leader’s jersey in the Vuelta a Espana.
It was an intense and thrilling Wednesday afternoon as the GC favorites were challenged with the 39.4 kilometer long Vuelta a Espana time trial from Cambados to Pontevedra. The stretch contained one small climb and a descent and prior to the stage the top names have had a busy time pointing out each other as favorites for the stage win.
Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank Spaniard, Alberto Contador has done one single time trial since his come-back but the team leader dug deep within to gain time on the leading rider, Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) and on the first intermediate, the hungry Spaniard was the fastest rider. On the top of the climb, the Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank leader was the second fastest rider behind Frederik Kessiakoff (Astana) while specialist, Chris Froome (Sky) constantly lost time. On the finish line, Alberto Contador was behind the Astana-rider and Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) just barely saved his overall lead by doing the time trial of his life.
Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank sports director, Bradley McGee comments:
“The course contained all elements to create a thrilling time trial from high-speed sections, crazy corners in the city, a nasty climb and a technically demanding descent and Alberto did a tremendous effort. He might have been able to take a few more seconds on top of the climb which would have secured the jersey. But of course today’s stage clearly demonstrated Alberto’s condition is progressing and that he just gets stronger and stronger. Tomorrow, there’s a nasty uphill finish which will probably create a few more changes in the GC,” said McGee.
Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank’s Alberto Contador was pleased with today’s result:
“At the end of the day, the most important thing is that I progress and advance in the overall classification. I’m very happy ´cause my sensations are good and it has been a pretty uplifting day for us. Rodriguez’s done a very impressive time trial ahead of Alejandro and only lost marginal time to Froome which means that he’s still a contender for the overall win. Once we enter my terrain, I hope to feel as strong as now. So far the race has been dominated by one-day classics but now we are on the threshold to the high mountain stages. It’s still a very close race at the top of the GC but I have full confidence in my team and myself,” said the Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank leader.