After six years with team Tinkoff/Saxo Bank, the Madrid native inked a deal with American WorldTour team Trek-Segafredo for 2017. Once the deal became official last week, 33-year-old Contador said that the goals are the same: winning and the Tour.
“I am not continuing for the money, I don’t need it,” Contador told La Gazzetta dello Sport during a visit in Italy. “And I’m not continuing because I wouldn’t know what to do with myself at home.
“I’m motivated by riding. And the certainty that I can still compete at a high level. I’m ambitious. I want to win. It’s my nature.”
Contador won the Tour de France twice already in 2007 and 2009, three titles at home in the Vuelta a España and two in the Giro d’Italia.
He added, “The 2017 goal? Above all, it’s the Tour de France.”
Contador has not had a clean shot at a third Tour title in years. In 2014, he abandoned after crashing and fracturing his tibia, he arrived tired from his Giro d’Italia win in 2015 and managed fifth overall, and crashed twice in the opening two days and pulled out after one week this July.
“You have to look at the crashes one by one. I don’t have regrets, and I don’t think I could’ve done it differently,” Contador said. “At the Tour, even if it wasn’t his fault, Tony Martin fell right in front of me.”
The 2017 Tour de France, starting in Dusseldorf, will require all of Contador’s attention.
Sky’s Chris Froome is aiming for a fourth title. Colombian Nairo Quintana (Movistar) is improving with a Giro and as of this month, a Vuelta title in his palmarès. Contador knows that he cannot spread himself thin. He waved off a possible ride in the 2017 Giro d’Italia, which will celebrate its 100th edition.
“I will study the calendar with the team. We still don’t know the course,” he said. “I have to say that to arrive at my best level for the Tour after battling in the Giro is very complicated. I tried more than once before. Now, to be honest, it’s not easy to see me racing the Giro. But you never know.”