Roglic must suffer until the end, says Contador
Alberto Contador says red-jersey holder Primoz Roglic “will have to suffer until the end” as he targets La Vuelta victory with Jumbo-Visma.
Roglic is currently more than two minutes ahead of Nairo Quintana in General Classification and looks well poised for his first Grand Tour triumph, and a first for the Dutch team since Denis Menchov's 2009 win at the Giro d'Italia under the guise of Rabobank.
And Contador, Eurosport Spain’s cycling expert and three-time GC winner at La Vuelta, has said the hard work starts now for Roglic.
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Contador said: “He has been quite solid in La Vuelta. Perhaps, to highlight something, I have just seen him weaken a little in La Cubilla. At that stage it was harder for him to close the gap on Miguel Ángel López and Pogacar.
“On the other hand, during the windy day (stage 17) he was also on a knife’s edge. The Movistar TEAM devised an intelligent strategy and he was left alone. Fortunately, he didn’t have any mechanical problems and he saved the day, but he will have to suffer until the end.”
He added: “I consider that we have a team good enough to stand up to Ineos team. At an economic level, Jumbo-Visma will not be at the same level as the Ineos team, but with the level of cyclists and performance that they have had this year, I believe that they will be a team at the same level as Ineos.
Asked about how he sees the finale panning out, Contador added: “It will depend on the mentality of the cyclists and if Quintana and Valverde, who are closer to Roglic, are willing to settle for the podium or if they want to win.
“In that case, they will have to attack the red maillot to try to get him into trouble. Fortunately for the viewers, we still have Miguel Ángel López and Pogacar who are improving and they have good options to get the podium - but to achieve this objective they have to attack. The lead will be difficult but the podium should be easy.
“It will depend on their ambitions and motivations for each cyclist.”