Contador is Getting Ready for the 2008 Tour De France

By: Audrey Nolan

After his unexpected Tour de France victory last July, Contador is preparing for the 2008 Tour de France and the Olympic race, even though he is focused on maintaining the Tour's crown he will also like to shine at the Olympics.

"With so many commitments I've hardly had time to rest, but I'm ready to get back on the bike and begin again from zero," Contador told Spanish sports paper Marca during a break at an award's ceremony in Spain. "I need to stop this (the awards' ceremony) and get back to work."
Contador left the Discovery Chanel team to join the controversial Astana team last autumn along with his former team manager Johan Bruyneel. He admitted that for next season he will be under more pressure in order to win the Tour de France and the Paris-Nice as well.

"I'll really feel it when the racing starts and I will have all the world watching me," Contador said. "But I am also conscious that if I have the pressure it's because I've won and I tell myself, if I've won it once, I can win it again. That's what motivates me. "I've always had self-confidence, but now, after the year I've had, I know I can keep winning. We'll see how things go. When he was asked for his next season rivals he mentioned the ones who put more pressure on him, like his team mates ;Levi Leipheimer and Andreas Kloeden along with last year's Tour runner-up Cadel Evans.

He also mentioned rising stars Andy Schleck and Thomas Dekker; Carlos Sastre, Denis Menchov and Alejandro Valverde could not be disregarded."There's not just one, there are several," he reiterated.

His calendar for next year is most likely the same as last year: the Paris-Nice is the first one followed by some warm up races for the Tour and then the Grande Boucle. He doesn't know yet if he is going to miss next year's Vuelta a Espana as he has an additional goal for this summer; the Beijing Olympics games.

"I've heard the course is very hard, though I don't know for sure, there's a climb of 12km that's climbed six times," he said. "If it's true, then it could be good for me, though I wouldn't mind working for (Oscar) Freire and Valverde if the course isn't as hard as they say it is."

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