Alberto Contador continues his quest to become the first man to complete the Giro-Tour double since Marco Pantani in 1998. He’ll become only the eighth man in history to do the double, though he has a tough fight on his hands after falling 32 seconds behind rival Chris Froome during the opening stages of the race.
The Spaniard’s win at last year’s Vuelta a España provided the initial motivation for taking on the challenge, with the man from Pinto saying that he thought he could do the double even before the Tour route was unveiled.
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Contador took a dominant win in the Giro, beating Astana’s Fabio Aru by 1-53 despite losing 2-25 to the Italian on the penultimate stage of the race to Sestriere. He managed to take victory without winning a single stage, a feat he managed back in 2008, the first time he won the race.
He has two Tour de France wins under his belt as well, making for a total of seven Grand Tour wins during his twelve seasons as a professional. A positive test for clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour saw him lose that title as well as the 2011 Giro, though Contador maintains that those victories still count.
It’s a place in history that spurs Contador on, as he says himself. “I’ve arrived at a moment in my career where winning the Tour won’t change anything. On the other hand if I manage the double then people will remember that in history.”