• Attacking riding by Alberto Contador was the feature of the final day of racing at Paris-Nice. (Getty)Source: Getty
A hirsute Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) looked relaxed in the stark landscape around his training camp in Tenerife as he explained his changed approach to this year's Tour de France.
1 Jun 2017 - 2:56 PM  UPDATED 1 Jun 2017 - 3:00 PM

Contador has taken a different avenue of attack to this year's Tour de France. The aggressive Spaniard hasn't been on the top step of the podium in Paris since 2010 and that result was taken away from him with his doping ban.

Contador, 34, has opted to reinvent his season in response to the lack of yellow jerseys, taking a less intense approach to his season before the Tour. Part of that has been to train at altitude in Tenerife, as all the climbers tend to do ahead of their big targets for the season.

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"In Tenerife, it's an ideal place to work," said Contador. "There's the altitude, we are about 2,300 metres above sea level but other than that, it allows you is to be here calmly centred on the bike, optimising your use of time."

"Not only the training time but also the rest, having a good diet, being dedicated 24 hours a day to the bicycle.Β It conveys to me a tranquility, a peace and a confidence that is then very important in competition."

"What is perhaps the hardest aspect is to be away from home and in some way, seeing these stones all the time (gesturing to the starkly impressive landscape). It has its charm but it's true that after three weeks here it is sometimes a little hard. I get along pretty well, maybe better than my teammates. The best thing is having the tranquility to work."

Contador will go into the Tour de France after having abandoned the race last year after a torrid start. He is unlikely to start the race as favourite with the likes of Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Richie Porte (BMC) currently the favourites with pundits and bookmakers.

"You know that everything is aimed at achieving the maximum result and maybe that confidence is what motivates me, thinking on my goals.

"I'm being super conservative in this training camp. I'm thinking completely about arriving at the Tour with the best condition, being fresh and not arriving with fatigue.

"It's very easy to do too much work here, overtraining yourself and not letting the body recover. That is perhaps the main difference from other years. It's my bet, we'll see how it goes."

The more sedate preparation is at odds with what Richie Porte has been doing in recent weeks, banking ridiculous numbers in terms of climbing metres as he gets himself ready for a tilt at yellow.