Alberto Contador
By Andy Brown, posted 17 July 2017

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Andy makes a stand for El Pistolero, but maybe not for his menu choices.

Love him or loath him – and at least one person at JRTB really dislikes him – is a brilliant bike rider and serious competitor. Does he encapsulate what JRTB champions like, say, Dan Martin? Maybe not. But putting aside any murkiness in the past (there are more than a few in the peloton with a steak-fuelled history) he is a character.

On Sunday David Millar commented on ITV that Contador would be doing something at some stage that was dramatic and eye catching purely because he is a dedicated professional racing cyclist and what’s more, he loves it. He likes riding his bike. He wants to do well. He wants to compete. He wants to win. He certainly wants to win a stage. Who knew he hadn’t won one since 2009 for example.

The prediction in Cycling Weekly that he will win a stage is no joke.

So his times aren't looking great, but his effort on Saturday showed what he can still do when he gets the chance. He will not give in. he will be dancing in the pedals in the mountains. Will he aim to win at the summit finish on the Col d’Izoard? It does suit his sense of drama and meet his own personal pride. Also, with him being so far adrift, maybe, just maybe, the GC guys will let him ride his bike as fast as he can up that mountain to win one more stage. Just for the sheer hell of it.

Do not underestimate Alberto Contador. He has a sense of theatre, a burning pride and most of all he loves to ride his bike.  Watch this for some evidence. Contador could be one of the key ingredients to make this 2017 edition of the Le Tour even more exciting. So long as he is given scope by Trek Segafredo and the peloton to just ride the bike.

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