[17.01 00:27] Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador just finished his second day of hard training in St. Luis, Argentina. A training ride of more than 4 hours taking advantage of the excellent weather conditions in the region. After lunch, the leader of Saxo-Tinkoff gave a press conference for the local media, focusing on his expectations for this race and why he started the 2013 season in Argentina.
“People here have been very kind to me as they were last year. It’s great for me to launch the season here as there are fine possibilities of training,” Alberto says.
– What are your expectations for this race and what your schedule from here?
“My expectations are different from last year because the idea is to fine tune and adjust my weight, since I’m a few kilos over. But that’s normal in January. It’s true that I like to compete if I see an opportunity. I can hardly stop myself if I have god legs but I’m a bit overweight and when it comes to uphill finishes, it’s all mathematics. There are riders here who are better than me right now. Looking at my calendar, I will focus on the Tour de France. After Tour de San Luis, I will run the Tour of Oman, a race that I don’t know that well and I will continue with Tirreno, that I don’t know either but I’m excited to go, because until now, I always did Paris-Nice. Then I’ll go to the Criterium International – another race with a great reputation and where I’ve never been in a good condition. Finally, I’ll ride Basque Country and then the team will analyze the possibilities of riding some of the classics or go to the Giro.”
– What do you think of the Saxo-Tinkoff 2013 squad and the San Luis line-up?
“The team is in a superb form. The riders are excited about the 2013-season. We will all have opportunities. The
team is stronger now and I think we’re well-prepared. Here, for instance, we bring a complete team with four riders that go very well in the mid-mountain and in the plain and then we have Jesus Hernandez, who is strong uphill. We are a very balanced team.”
– Where will be Tour de San Luis be decided?
“Well, the climbs are not very long, so the differences will be maximum on the time trial. Among those arriving in front in the mountain stages who is also a good time trialist will will be the winner. Last year, Leipheimer was in great form and won.”
– Who will be the candidate this year?
“It’s hard to say. There is an impressive list of riders. I could not say exactly. Nibali proved to be strong in 2012 and Dani Moreno and Purito will also be there. There are many riders as Van den Broeck or VanGarderen plus local riders who prepare at hundred percent for this race specifically and they are really strong in the mountains.”
Tour de San Luis begins January 21st.