On the eve of the Criterium du Dauphiné, Alberto Contador held a press conference, after carrying out the recon of Sunday’s opening time trial and assessing the descent of Joux-Plane to the finish in Morzine, which will be the penultimate stage of the Tour de France next July.
How do you feel after these two months out of competition?
Well and eager, that is important. My last race was the Pais Vasco and that’s a long time ago, but that allowed me to rest and train for the coming Tour. Considering the time of the season we are in, I feel well and I hope that this race can give my body the touch of shape that it needs.
What is the goal at the Dauphiné?
The number one goal is to finish in a good physical condition, ready for the Tour. And then there are also tough stages, in which we can do some tests to assess my form compared to the rivals. Of course, I don’t contemplate the general classification, I’ll see how the race goes and if I’m in a good situation, I would obviously try, but I know that is a big effort so I’ll take it day by day.
Can you tell us what you did during the last two months?
Right after Pais Vasco I took a few days of holidays, not because I was tired, but because I knew they would be useful to face the stress and pressure of the Tour de France. Then I went to recon the Alps stages of the Tour and finally I did a three-week training camp on Teide, where I trained a lot and, above all, I did strength work. Right now, I might be missing some speed in the legs, but this is why we are here.
How was your experience in high altitude?
My recent experience was good. Honestly, the biggest benefit I find on Teide, even more than the altitude, is the three weeks of concentration, thinking only about the bike, doing good training sessions, knowing that the weather will always be good, eating well, enjoying a massage every day and having lots of calm. I think these training camps suit me well for these reasons. At home it’s more difficult to have the same rhythm.
Tomorrow’s race course could be the first comparison test against your rivals. Is a victory possible?
Tomorrow is a good day to do a test, but on the other hand is the first race day and you don’t know how your body will react, you don’t know how you will feel. The time trial is very hard and we will see who is in good form. I will give my best because it’s good to go full gas, but we’ll see what happens.
What are your plans after the Dauphiné is over and until the Tour?
Unlike previous seasons, this year I will race at the Spanish Road Championships, because it suits me to get to pace and also because it is another one-day race in view of the Olympic Games.
Who is your biggest rival in the next Tour?
There will be many rivals and one must have the utmost respect for all of them, but if I had to choose two, it would be Froome and Quintana, the latter because he is very strong in the final week and Froome, of course, because he already knows how to win the Tour.