Alberto Contador says the departure of Bjarne Riis was unexpected, but insists that he's in prime shape for the Giro d'Italia

Alberto Contador admits the departure of former team manager Bjarne Riis from Tinkoff-Saxo was ‘unexpected’, but the Spaniard insists he is well prepared for the Giro d’Italia.

Riis’s contract at Russian team was terminated by mutual agreement in March having been suspended by owner Oleg Tinkov. Rumours circulated that the pair were involved in an arguement at Tirreno-Adriatico earlier in the month.

“That was unexpected, but I suppose Tinkoff act in the interest of the team,” Contador told Sporza about the decision.

Contador is about to embark on the first leg of his Giro/Tour de France double, with the Italian Grand Tour starting in San Lorenzo on May 9.

The 2008 Giro winner has enjoyed a relatively low-key start to the season, with his only win coming in February’s Ruta del Sol.

But with only 19 race days under his belt ahead of the Giro, Contador feels he is exactly where he needs to be to challenge for the Maglia Rosa.

“My season has started as I expected it more or less,” he added. “I could not see myself getting impressive results, like in previous years.”

“I had some trouble with two slight falls (in the Tirreno and Catalonia), but now everything is alright again. My final preparations towards the Giro went very well I’m already at my race weight.”