Contador changes mind on Tour of Spain victory hopes

Mon Sep 1, 2014 2:03pm EDT
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MADRID (Reuters) - Alberto Contador, who fractured a shin bone at the Tour de France in July, said on Monday that he had changed his mind and would now be targeting victory in the Tour of Spain.

A late attack in Sunday's ninth stage lifted the Tinkoff-Saxo rider to second in the overall standings, three seconds behind Colombian Nairo Quintana.

Quintana's Movistar team mate Alejandro Valverde of Spain, who started the day in the red leader's jersey, dropped to third, eight seconds off the pace.

"I am now able to say I will try to win the Vuelta, another thing is if I have the legs or not," Spaniard Contador told a news conference on the rest day.

"Until yesterday, even up to the final kilometers, I did not see it like that and we have to wait and see how I am tomorrow," added the double Tour de France champion.

"Since the start of the race I merely thought about letting the days go by."

Contador said he was still having "minor" problems with his leg and that Quintana and Britain's Chris Froome of Team Sky remained the favorites.

Froome lost ground on Sunday and is fifth, 28 seconds behind Quintana.

"Some have come here with more work under their belts than me and can aspire to greater things, like Froome and Quintana, while I am still a question mark," Contador said.   Continued...

Tinkoff-Saxo team rider Alberto Contador of Spain crosses of the 161-km (100 miles) eighth stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Tomblaine and Gerardmer La Mauselaine, July 12, 2014.     REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen