Cycling: Alberto Contador finds return tough
Tuesday 28 August 2012
Alejandro Valverde said the lay-off from a doping ban has hurt Alberto Contador's chances of winning Vuelta a España.
Contador returned to competition earlier this month after being banned since February for testing positive for clenbuterol en route to winning the 2010 Tour de France, a title of which he was subsequently stripped.
The 2008 Vuelta champion trails overall leader Joaquin Rodriguez by one minute in this year's edition to sit in third place. Contador is seven seconds behind Briton Chris Froome and the same time in front of the fourth-placed Valverde.
"He's been laid off for a while, so he is still trying to find his rhythm," Valverde said yesterday, the first rest day of the three-week race. "He's a little nervous, attacking when he shouldn't be."
Contador, like Froome, will be looking to get through today's 10th stage with his gap to Rodriguez unchanged as tomorrow's time trial gives a chance to gain ground.
Valverde, the 2009 champion, believes Froome is favourite in the time trial, even if the Briton is tired after a long season in which he was Tour and Olympics runner-up.
"Froome is the most favoured for the time trial, but he still looked a little drained," Valverde said.
Latest in Sport
How Liverpool can catch Manchester United and secure Champions League football next season
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger reveals: 'We are not close to signing anybody. We need to lose some players'
Danny Jones: Keighley Cougars half-back dies after cardiac arrest during league game
Chelsea season player ratings: Grading the entire squad of the new Premier League champions
Which celebrities were ringside in Las Vegas to watch Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao?
- 3 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...
£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...