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Contador welcomes warm weather camp after difficult winter

Astana showed off new kit and new bikes on Thursday

Tour de France champion Alberto Contador is starting a training camp in Calpe, Spain, Thursday, prior to his season opener at Portugal’s Volta au Algarve stage race next month.

The Calpe training camp with run through Sunday, January 24, and also marks the team’s debut on its new Specialized bikes and its new kit.

Prior to the camp, Contador said he was impatient to get to work and was looking forward to good cycling weather, unlike the freezing temperatures and snow that have made regular training near his home in Pinto impossible lately.

“I expect us to be able to do a good block of training. We’re going to be there for a total of 11 days and things will go better than in the last training camp at Pisa, where it was all a little less organized. I’m eager to see the level of all the riders, I’m motivated by them, I’m fully confident in the work that they’re doing and I believe that it’s going to do a lot of good,” Contador said this week.

Click to view gallery from Thursday's team ride.

Contador said his condition is good, although training has been difficult over the off season.

“I’ve had to fit training in around some commitments, and well, the winter that we’re having this year in Europe and in my area in particular … I don’t remember anything this bad. It’s difficult to sort out training, but the truth is, I’m feeling really good and, comparing the data with other years, I think that things are going pretty well.”

Contador won last year’s Algarve tour, but downplayed his ambitions for this year’s race.

“Last year things went very well for starting the season at Paris-Nice and the races that came next. It’s true that last year I got the victory, but this year I don’t think that I’ll reach the same level as last, but it’ll be a good warm-up for the rest of the races.”

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