Contador builds 2015 around Giro/Tour double
MILAN (VN) — Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) ended his season in Italy over the weekend with eyes on a new challenge: winning the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in 2015.
“I’ll try to do both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France, if someone can do it, it’s me,” Contador said at the 2015 Giro d’Italia route presentation Monday. “I don’t know if I can win the double, but the only way to find out is to try.”
Organizer RCS Sport presented the 2015 Giro with six high-mountain finishes and a 59.2-kilometer time trial in the second week. The race, which runs from May 9-31, will effectively end with the stage 20 gravel climb up the Colle delle Finestre and the summit finish at Sestriere’s ski resort. On Sunday, May 31, the Corsa Rosa rolls into Milan over flat roads that should allow the overall winner time to celebrate.
Contador won the race in 2008 and in 2011, but the latter title was erased due to an anti-doping positive at the 2010 Tour de France. He has also claimed two Tour titles and three Vuelta a España victories.
Not long after the dust settled on his recent Vuelta victory, Contador announced he would race the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in 2015. Though he has the richest grand tour palmares of any current cyclist, he has yet to add his name to the list of seven who have won the Giro/Tour double. The closest he came was in 2011, when he won the Giro and placed fifth in the Tour, but those results were subsequently struck down due to his ban.
Contador has a better idea what he is up against after RCS Sport’s presentation. He only needs to wait until Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) announces the 2015 Tour route October 22 to be certain.
“When I decided to race the Giro d’Italia last month, I didn’t know the route yet, but now seeing it, I believe that it’s suited to aggressive racers like me,” Contador said.
“It’s harder than the editions I raced in 2008 and 2011. The time trial is longer than what I’d like. It’s unusual, we haven’t seen a stage like this for quite some time. I wouldn’t have put it in, but now that it’s there there’s nothing to do about it.”
Contador’s season ended with a crash in the final corner of the Giro di Lombardia on Sunday. He banged his right knee, above where he fractured his tibia at the Tour de France on July 14. He was only able to train for 15 minutes Monday before he stopped due to the discomfort. He decided then that he would not race the Tour of Beijing this week.
“I don’t want to end the year like this,” he added, “but my season is over.”
His pre-grand tour season in 2015 could look similar to 2011, with four smaller stage races leading to the Giro d’Italia start on May 9 in Liguria. He said, “I have to have a ‘soft’ start with the Giro and Tour in mind.”