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Alberto Contador says Tour de France 'starts now' after Giro win

Spaniard 'tired' but ready for next leg of historic double attempt

Alberto Contador, Giro d'Italia 2015, stage 21
Image: Alberto Contador says his preparations for the Tour de France are already under way

Alberto Contador admitted he was tired after sealing overall victory of the Giro d’Italia but insisted his preparations for the Tour de France “start now”.

The 32-year-old Spaniard is attempting to become the first man since Marco Pantani in 1998 to win both races in the same year and ticked off the first leg on Sunday by securing his seventh grand tour title and second at the Giro.

His tilt at the Tour starts in just under five weeks on July 4 in the Dutch city of Utrecht, and Contador conceded he has a lot of recovering to do before then after fatigue triggered a dramatic loss of form on Saturday’s mountainous 20th stage of the Giro.

He said: “Perhaps my main memory of the Giro is the leg pain with which I finished the race, and the tired body.

Alberto Contador (C), Fabio Aru (L) and third placed winner Spain's Mikel Landa celebrate on the podium after the 98th Giro d'Italia, Tour of Italy
Image: Alberto Contador beat Fabio Aru, left, into second place and Mikel Landa, right, into third

“My Tour de France starts now. My preparation starts now. Tonight, to the extent to which it is possible, I will go and rest as early as possible.

“Tomorrow I want to go to Spain. I want to take three or four days before I start concentrating again on the Tour, in complete isolation. So tomorrow I'm looking forward to a nice day.”

Contador suffered a dislocated shoulder in one of two crashes at the Giro but recovered to put himself into a commanding overall lead going into the 20th stage.

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However, he was dropped by all of his rivals on the climb of the Colle delle Finestre and saw his advantage over second-placed Fabio Aru at the top of the general classification cut from 4min 35sec to 2min 2sec.

Alberto Contador on stage 20 of the 2015 Giro d'Italia
Image: Alberto Contador struggled on stage 20 of the Giro d'Italia

He ended up winning by only 1min 53sec but insisted that he had not spent too much energy earlier in the race.

“I don't think so,” he added. “I see it like this: there were days when I could have been more ambitious.

“I decided to ride more tactically and I think it was the right thing to do in the end, because look at yesterday: I had a bad day because my strength was declining.

“No, there is nothing I think that I could improve on for the Tour.”

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