Trek-Segafredo rider is playing it smart in his preparations for this year's Tour de France
Contador will face Sky’s Chris Froome and other Tour contenders in the coming Critérium du Dauphiné, June 4 to 11. It will be his first race since April’s Tour of the Basque Country and a a high-altitude training camp in Tenerife last month.
“The main difference I would highlight is the tranquillity with which I have taken the beginning of the season. The first training camp I did here, and how I’m doing this one,” Contador told Spanish newspaper Marca.
For the last three weeks Contador has been training at Teide volcano, which measures in at 2300 metres, in Tenerife.
“It’s training where I’m being super conservative. I’m fully thinking about the Tour, on arriving in the best conditions, getting fresh, not arriving with fatigue.
“Because here it’s very easy to do too much workout, over-training yourself and not letting your body recover, and perhaps that is the main difference with the others years. It’s my bet, let’s see what the results say.”
The 34-year-old Spaniard joined Trek-Segafredo over the off-season. He has yet to give the team a victory, but results have come: placing second overall in the Ruta del Sol, Paris-Nice, the Volta a Catalunya and País Vasco.
Sunday will see the start of The Critérium du Dauphiné. Like many of his rivals, Contador often uses it to prepare for the Tour, but surprisingly, he has never won the race.
“At the Dauphiné, I want to make the first important intensity before the Tour. I’m sure I’m going to go a bit at the limit, that’s why I want to take the race calmly, take advantage of it only to pick up the pace.
If I see that I’m too fit, I’ll slow down, although, it’s difficult for me, but it’s what I have in mind. Also, since November, this is something that I have had in mind because I think it will be the smartest way to face the Tour de France,” added Contador.
“Then I’ll do another training camp, viewing and analysing the performance from the Dauphiné. I’ll include more rhythm, more intensity or instead, relax in approaching the Tour de France.”
Contador, winner in 2007 and 2009, will hope to improve on last year’s Tour after he crashed twice in the opening two days before abandoning in stage nine.
Having raced 4462.3 kilometres already this season, Contador far outstrips Froome who has a mere 2538.2 in his legs.
However, The Brit will be taking a similar approach to Contador, with an altitude camp this month in Tenerife before the Dauphiné and a shot at a fourth Tour title.