Vuelta a España - Alberto Contador: It's a shame I couldn't take the victory
Sep 07 2017 12:35 am CET

Vuelta a España - Alberto Contador: It's a shame I couldn't take the victory
Vuelta a España - Alberto Contador: It's a shame I couldn't take the victory
Photo of Alberto Contador © Mary Cárdenas /

Alberto Contador came close to victory in the 17th stage of the Vuelta a España but ended up crossing the line at 28 seconds from winner Stefan Denifl.

The Trek-Segafredo leader attacked on the last climb of the day. He was initially joined by Astana's Miguel Angel Lopez but later dropped the Spaniard to go solo. The gap with lone leader Denifl gradually decreased but the Austrian held on for the win.

"It was a good stage, but particularly because when I had to pedal harder, my legs were responding," Contador said. "I knew I had to follow Miguel Angel Lopez, so I tried to speed up to get to him. We rode together for a moment, but then I saw he was struggling and I didn't think twice to get away from him.

"I wanted to ride in front to see who was going to continue with the same conviction to get me. In the end I didn't know about the time differences but it was a shame that I couldn't get the stage victory. Particularly, thinking about my team and the public, but well there are still three hard days to go, and we will see what can be done.

"Today was possibly the day on which I've had the better legs, this weather is of the kind that I like, I felt very comfortable and that always has an influence."

Contador is already looking forward to the next challenge. "Tomorrow I will face one of the climbs that has left a mark on me and my history as a cyclist. For me it is always special to be there, but we will see what happens tomorrow."

'El Pistolero' realizes that winning the Vuelta or even finishing on the podium may be very difficult at this point.

"I'm far away from the podium. Evidently, I've been getting closer but I'm also far from it. I would like to win this Vuelta, but I'm also realistic and I know I have rivals ahead of me that are very strong, so it is really difficult.

"Everyday things can happen. At the end you're in a race in which you give the maximum every day, and we have to be prepared for everything that can happen."




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