Alberto Contador has already said no to the 2012 Giro d’Italia having learned his painful lesson about the Giro-Tour double. Discovering the same hard truth as Ivan Basso the year before, the Spaniard came off a dominating Giro win only to fall flat and exhausted in France.
That would seem to give the green light to the Tour of California as a May stage race replacement for the Italian grand tour. Bjarne Riis and his Saxo Bank squad have often made the trip to Cali. But Contador put the kibosh on that idea while visiting the state this week.
“I’d love to come and race the Tour of California if it was in February, but since the date change it has overlapped with the Giro d’Italia,” said Alberto.
Sounds like a solid no to Twisted Spoke and we wonder what Alberto will be doing in May with no Giro and no California tour. Perhaps sitting on a couch in Pinto, Spain with a bucket full of tapas after the Court for Arbitration in Sports rules against him.
That doesn’t seem like a possible outcome according to Contador. “I’m very confident because of all of the controls and the scientific facts supporting my case,” Contador said during a short hello to the San Francisco Bay area. “I believe there will be a favorable resolution.”
Whatever the outcome, he seems to have no desire to follow rival Andy Schleck’s preferred build-up for the Tour de France. The Luxembourger loves the California weather and adoring crowds and the less-than-Giro strain on his mind and body. Of course, Schleck the Younger has three second places and no wins in La Grande Boucle so the Spaniard has reason to discount the approach.
“If I were to come to California, I wouldn’t come to train, I would come to win. But its place in the calendar means that racing here in May would impact my chances for the Tour de France.”
We’ll know more in late November and early December (hopefully) about Alberto’s race calendar. Hard to make any concrete places at this point and California is just a loose maybe.