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by Neal Rogers
February 21, 2017
In today’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: 25 teams selected for Paris-Roubaix; Valverde reflects on achieving 100 career victories; Barry questioned use of Tramadol with team management during time riding at Sky; Contador to ride in support of Mollema at Abu Dhabi Tour; Van Garderen to lead BMC Racing Team at Abu Dhabi Tour; Bahrain-Merida with Bonifazio for sprints, Nibali for GC at Abu Dhabi Tour; Brisbane cyclist killed by 21-year-old motorist with provisional license; The man who lived on his bike, until his bike was stolen.
Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) told Spanish newspaper Marca on Sunday that he will race the Abu Dhabi Tour, though he will not be the team’s GC leader — rather he will work for teammate Bauke Mollema.
“Bauke will be our leader,” Contador told Marca. “I’ll be delighted to help him. The fact that we are both there creates an ideal situation.”
Contador, who finished second behind Alejandro Valverde at Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol, said that he needs to hone his top-end form before Paris-Nice, his first big target of the season. Abu Dhabi will mark the first occasion where Mollema and Contador will race as teammates.
“I’ve felt very good in the Ruta and my race condition is good,” Contador added. “But I need to get sharper form to be able to accelerate hard, and you can only get that by racing, not matter how much you train.”
Contador said that the decision to race Abu Dhabi was made prior to Ruta del Sol. “I’ve done thousands and thousands of metres worth of vertical climbing in training in Tenerife, but nothing behind a motorbike, and even better than doing that kind of training behind a motorbike is picking up speed in a race itself.”