Contador has the crucial edge: Yates

Thu Jul 2, 2015 1:03pm EDT
 
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By Julien Pretot

UTRECHT, Netherlands (Reuters) - Sean Yates knows a thing or two about leading a rider to the Tour de France title and the Briton feels his protege Alberto Contador has the required experience to prevail in a demanding race this year.

Yates, who guided Bradley Wiggins to his Tour triumph in 2012, left the sport that year but he is now Contador's sports director at Tinkoff-Saxo.

The Englishman believes Contador has what the other big favorite do not have -- experience he can take confidence from.

"He's got history on his side, he's won more grand tours than all the others combined. Experience is a major part," Yates told Reuters at his team hotel on Thursday.

Yates was Contador's sports director at Discovery Channel the year the Spaniard won his maiden tour in 2007 and directed Froome in 2012 when the Briton finished second in the Tour.

He reiterated that Contador was an all-rounder who never gives up, the seven-times grand tour winner having won many races in which most had written him off.

"We've seen a number of times, it's never over with Alberto even when people think it's over," he said.

The Giro/Tour double challenge Contador is aiming for this year, however, has not been achieved since 1998 and this season's Giro was a punishing race.   Continued...