Alberto Contador: Chris Froome is perfectly capable of winning a fifth Tour de France

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Alberto Contador thinks that Chris Froome’s chances of success on the Tour de France will in no way be diminished by the effects of COVID-19 and the postponement to September, Froome benefiting from the delay of two months.

The Tour de France is currently scheduled to start on August 29, two months later than planned, although, as with all sporting events, the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on these dates remains to be seen.

Contador is convinced, he says Cyclingnews, that Froome will benefit from the delay: partly because with such a long time interval between races after his crash of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2019, this means that the leader Ineos will be even more hungry to win. The delay in the race will also equal any advantage that other runners may have had at the start of the season while Froome was still finishing his rehabilitation and early training.

“The change of dates for the Grand Tours will favor the mentally stronger drivers,” says Contador Cyclingnews. “It will not be easy for the runners to stay completely on track until the start of the racing season in the second half of the year. “

Rather than a simple physical challenge to stay in shape during the lockdown, Contador believes the real tests lie elsewhere.

“Throughout this lockdown, you have to keep being professional and most importantly, live this life of pro – diet, train and pay attention to all the little details – and this process is going to be so difficult, it means those who are mentally stronger will benefit the most. “

In the specific case of Froome, Contador argues that: “This delay suits him very much. Because he had an accident, really serious, even if we saw in February his return is going very well. But the competitors who had a good winter too were still ahead of him and it may have been difficult for him to be at their level. “

in the UAE Tour, his first race since the Dauphiné, Froome was able to manage the speed and power requirements of the flat race without difficulty but, as was logical and according to Contador’s analysis, he was still far from the level of the best contenders on the twin climbs of the summit of Jebel Hafeet. He quickly accelerated the climbs and finished 11 minutes behind winner Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) at the first opportunity and five minutes from the second.

Contador believes that when the new post-COVID-19 season begins, the playing field will be more even.

“Now everyone has to pass this lock, everyone starts from scratch and they are in the same place as Froome, as far as their physical condition is concerned. In August, he will have made up for this lost ground, ”predicts Contador.

“When a runner like Froome arrives at the starting line, a runner who is so motivated for a fifth round, who wants so much to continue to prove that he is still the same runner as before his crash and who will also have so hungry to compete because he’ll have been off the bike longer than almost everyone else, so this is a huge plus for Froome. “

“This is why I consider him to be one of the best contenders for the Tour de France and why he is perfectly capable of winning his fifth. “

Help fight COVID-19

Contador retired after the 2017 season, ending his career and rivalry with Froome with two victories in the Tour de France and two victories in the Giro d’Italia and three in the Vuelta a Espana. Froome has won the Tour de France four times, the Vuelta a Espana twice and the Giro d’Italia once.

Contador now leads a development team with Ivan Basso and his brother Fran and comments for Eurosport in Spain. Still one of the biggest sporting statistics in Spain, he helped fight COVID-19 by auctioning the 2011 bike he used in the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France to win money for the Red Cross. The bike had a starting price of $ 2,500, but the sale had a glitch when the auction reached 20,000 euros.

“It was going really well, but when it reached that price, eBay automatically blocked the auction because, apparently, it was doing much more than products of the same type,” says Contador.

“The price increased so much that it ended up being canceled. I tried to solve the problems over the next two to three days, but it was impossible because it was the Easter holidays. In the end, we had to do everything through a Spanish auction house. and it always went for 22,500 euros, which is great, but I think it would have been double that price on eBay. “

“Even so, it is always great to be able to collaborate in this fight against Covid-19 which affects Spain so much, and it is important to try to make a contribution, whether it is small or large. “

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