© Tim De Waele
Alberto Contador: "I really wanted to come to Belgium"

[19.04 22:00] Yesterday, Saxo Bank-SunGard's Alberto Contador arrived in Belgium and today, he did the final training session before the Fleche Wallonne where he finished third. As long as he is in Belgium, Alberto praised the cycling atmosphere that exists in the country and noted that this is one of the reasons to come.

�These races are great for the fans. In this country cycling culture is above every other sport. They live for cycling here like in Spain, we live for soccer. It's because of that I really wanted to come here, despite not being in perfect shape.�

Alberto enters Fleche Wallone after a week in Castilla y Le�n with a cold:

�I feel fine physically and this is a race that I like but my condition is not superb. I thought I was going to recover a bit earlier but I do not expect to be at top level but I'll try to help my teammates.�

What do you expect for tomorrow?

�I'll do my best but I'm surely limited by my cold which will make it difficult to fight for the victory.�

What is your assessment of this first part of the season, just before the Giro d'Italia?

The balance is very good. Except in Algarve, where I arrived almost without training, in the other races have achieved victories in the mountains and on the time tril. I am very happy, because they are tests ahead of the first goal of the year, the Giro d'Italia, so I'm very pleased with the start of the season.

Returning to the Fleche Wallone - who is the favorite to win?

�There are many - there are Gilbert and Andy, but there are many riders who have a good chance.�

Wjat do you think about the performance of Gilbert in Amstel?

�He was very strong, impressive. Everyone left the responsibility to him and still he took the victory, a sign that he is in a fantastic form.�

Would you have liked to also ride Liege?

�You always like to ride a race like that because it is one of the biggest in the history of cycling but the best way to prepare for the Giro was not to be there.�

Less than three weeks before the Giro d'Italia, are you in good form?

�Yes, once I pass this flu I think I'll get in good form because I have still time to recover. I'll get a good build-up with a good working basis and I'm really enthusiastic about returning to the Giro.� 

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