Alberto Contador vs Astana: Round two at the Tour de France

Alberto Contador's Tinkoff-Saxo team at the Giro d'Italia looked underpowered in comparison to Astana, yet Contador still won. The case may be very different at the Tour de France in July

Alberto Contador and Tanel Kangert on stage twenty of the 2015 Tour of Italy

(Image credit: Watson)

What happens when the best individual and the best team at a Grand Tour go directly head to head against each other? In the case of this year’s Giro d'Italia, even a team strong enough to place two riders on the podium (Fabio Aru and Mikel Landa) and a further four in the top 25 (Tanel Kangert, Paolo Tiralongo, Diego Rosa and Dario Cataldo) was not enough to depose a rider as superior as Alberto Contador.

Despite being regularly isolated by Astana whenever the road went uphill, with the light blue jerseys sometimes outnumbering the pink by four or five to one, Contador’s lead in the general classification never looked under any serious threat until the very last day in the mountains.

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Stephen Puddicombe is a freelance journalist for Cycling Weekly, who regularly contributes to our World Tour racing coverage with race reports, news stories, interviews and features. Outside of cycling, he also enjoys writing about film and TV - but you won't find much of that content embedded into his CW articles.