Tour de France

Contador in much better shape

2011-07-13 21:30
Alberto Contador (File)
Lavaur - Reigning champion Alberto Contador said his painful right knee was "feeling good" ahead of what could be his first big test of the Tour de France.

However the Spaniard said the good news did not mean he would necessarily be attacking his rivals in a bid to close his deficit of 1min 41sec and 1:30 to Australian Cadel Evans and Andy Schleck of Luxembourg respectively.

The 211 km 12th stage Thursday takes the peloton over the Ancizan and Tourmalet mountain passes before starting the 13 km climb to the summit of Luz Ardiden.

Contador, who compounded an existing knee pain in a crash on Sunday, has been praying for the pain to dissipate and the swelling to go down before then.

After completing the mainly flat 11th stage Wednesday in an apparent mood of optimism he admitted, however, he had yet to fully test it on a big climb.

"My knee is feeling good so I'm very happy, although we can't forget that I haven't climbed the Tourmalet yet," said the Spaniard.

Contador was keeping mum over whther the pain would allow him to attack or not.

"I'll see how things are going and I will decide when we reach the final climb (to Luz Ardiden)."

Contador finished the 11th stage, won by sprinter Mark Cavendish, with all the yellow jersey favourites. Despite heavy rain, he managed to avoid crashing, as he has already done four times on the race so far.

"My knee wasn't giving me any bother. Maybe the rain was good for me, it was like having an ice pack," he added.

"Tomorrow (Thursday) will be a difficult day, the first day that the favourites will be expected to show just how good they are on some very hard climbs.

"We'll see how the legs respond," added Contador, who despite needing to make up time affirmed he may try to keep his powder dry for later in the race. Three crucial days in the Alps begin on stage 17.

"I'm still getting over my crashes so maybe the best time for me will come a bit later. The Pyrenees and the Alps are as important as each other.

"At Luz-Ardiden everyone will be waiting for things to happen. Certain riders have to get things going, in particular the Schleck brothers.

"But until we see how the stage goes, we can't say anything more about it. The weather could also play a major role."

Read more on:    tdf  |  alberto contador


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk



What do you enjoy most about the Tour de France?

Love 2 Meet

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.