Froome's rivals must be more aggressive: Contador's director

Sun Jul 3, 2016 1:01pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

CHERBOURG, France (Reuters) - Chris Froome's rivals need to be more aggressive if they are to prevent the Briton from winning a third Tour de France title and reap the benefits of offensive tactics, Alberto Contador's sports director said on Sunday.

Speaking to Reuters before the start of the second stage from Saint Lo to Cherbourg a day after the Tinkoff team leader suffered heavy bruises in a crash, Sean Yates said Contador could not be the only rider to attack.

"The general consensus, which is logical, is that you can't sit back and let Sky dictate things. They have the defending champion, the guys have shown great form this year," said the Briton, who led Bradley Wiggins to his Tour title in 2012 with Team Sky.

"It's not only us who have to take the race on, it's obviously the likes of (Australian Richie Porte's) BMC and (Nairo Quintana's) Movistar. That might profit us and maybe profit Movistar more," he added.

"Everyone is kind of scared sometimes of losing what they've got but nothing ventured nothing gained. The ultimate price is first place."

Last year, Froome smashed his rivals in the first mountain stage with brutal acceleration in the climb up to La Pierre St Martin and they never recovered.

"It's on Sky to control the race a lot and we'll take our chances. There are some crucial stages and the most important is that we don't concede too much time on the first mountain stage as it happened in previous years," Yates said.

"That's what (Miguel) Indurain would do back in the day: take a chunk of time in the first time trial or the first mountain stage and it's important to recoup that, to minimize the losses and take our chance to take time."   Continued...

Cycling - Tour de France cycling race - The 188-km (117 miles) 1st stage from Mont Saint-Michel to Utah Beach Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, France - 02/07/2016 - Team Sky rider Christopher Froome of Britain rides during the race.    REUTERS/Juan Medina