News24

Contador's team slump to 9th

2012-08-07 18:20

The Hague - The Orica-GreenEdge team won the second stage of the Eneco Tour of the Low Countries on Tuesday, an 18km team time-trial, as the Saxo Bank team of former Tour de France winner Alberto Contador slumped to ninth.

The Australian team clocked 21min 09sec in the race around Sittard to finish one second ahead of Belgian outfit Omega Pharma-Quickstep, with Russia's Katusha third 2sec off the pace.

Belgian Jens Keukeleire was the first Orica rider to cross the finish line, and he takes the overall leader's jersey from Germany's Marcel Kittel, of the Argos-Shimano team.

Contador is making his comeback from a two-year doping ban and, while his team finished ninth fastest at 27sec, the Spaniard drew plenty of positives from the day's stage.

"I felt good and my legs are going quite well, but it was too flat a time-trial for me, because it is on the climbs where I can really make a difference," he said.

"I am happy with the time, we synchronized well with each other, but there were teams out there who are better suited to this stage than us and for whom this race is more important, because we have other objectives further ahead.

"We will recover for the coming days and continue our fine-tuning for the Tour of Spain."

Wednesday's third stage covers 188km from Riemst to Genk in Belgium and should favour the sprinters, with the race finishing on Sunday.

AFP