The Tinkoff-Saxo rider is focussed and motivated as he recovers from one grand tour and sets his sights on the next.
“If it were easy I wouldn't have this motivation. I hope to reach the start in top condition," said Contador. The Spaniard will train through the four-day Route du Sud, which begins on Thursday, as part of his preparation.
"Physically and muscularly I still feel the wear from the Giro, especially that of the final week, which was very hard. As a result, I tried above all to rest as much as possible during this time," said Contador. “I focused on recovering and I have only done three days of specific training to activate my body."
After only two weeks of recovery since the Giro, Contador’s form ahead of the Route de Sud remains uncertain. “I can't know now in what form I will be. I took great care of all the details, both rest and nutrition, which is somewhat complicated, because you have to eat little, just the opposite of what happens in a competition,” he said.
“The most important thing is that I look forward to racing in the Route du Sud because it will give me speed in the legs and I will be in motion again. Surely, it will take some time to ramp up, but I have a good foundation and this will allow me to carry out a good training in racing mode.”
Maintaining an optimum balance between training and recovery is critical to Contador’s preparation ahead of the Tour de France. While it is unclear whether he can maintain the form that saw him win the Giro for another three-week long tour, the motivation of the challenge is adding a fuel of its own.
“I'm mentally very excited and motivated with this challenge. Physically, when I get up, my legs still hurt, I feel some muscle fatigue, but this is normal.
If it were easy, I wouldn't have this motivation and, on second thought, there are still more days ahead to recover than days that have passed since the end of the Giro. I hope to reach the start in top condition.” - Alberto Contador
His recovery so far has included a short time off the bike, and easier-paced rides in the high mountains, and tax free shopping haven, of Livigno, Italy.
“After going to Pinto to celebrate the victory with my friends and family, I went to Lugano and from there to Livigno, where I was isolated and concentrated. It's a good place, with iconic mountain passes very close, such as Gavia and Stelvio, but also with the possibility to train in flat terrain at an altitude of 1,800 metres.
“I took advantage of this to prepare my return to competition, although I will face (the Route du Sud) in a more relaxed mode.”
Contador will race at the Route du Sud from June 18 to 21. The Tour de France starts in Utrecht on July 4.