The Vuelta has ended with Alberto Contador taking the overall. This is his first victory after his ban for Clenbuterol. An event that was filled with all the drama and corruption, that we will now forever associate with these events. That makes a total of five Grand Tour wins, making him one of the best riders of that style on his generation. Well, actually its seven, but he was stripped of his 2010 Tour and 2011 Giro tour wins.
On the final podium Contador left little doubt in regards to how many Grand Tours he’s won. By holding up seven fingers he sent a clear message. Reading about that had me thinking about the attitude needed to be one of the best. Contador believes in Contador. Which makes some people hate him all while endearing him to others. At this point I’m just willing to accept the fact that he had the fastest time over three weeks, as the UCI has left little for us believe in when it comes to validity of dope test.
Though we can maybe trust any Contador test as Spain, which in rescission, isn’t exactly a huge market for expensive racing bicycles or cancer awareness foundations. But that’s not what I found interesting. This nugget, on Velonation, is what I found interesting.
In a post race interview AC states that he was doubtful his plan would work on the day he took the lead from Rodriquez.
“In this moment I am not sure if I attack or not, but after one kilometre I said, ‘okay Alberto, this is the moment to try. Maybe you don’t win, but if you don’t try, then you never know this.’
This is what I think sets great champions (if there is such a thing anymore) great. Its not just limited to racers, but anyone who stood up and got after what they wanted. They keep going when its hard, always aware of the self doubt but willing to take the risk and be great.
Contador was also asked if Rodriquez was his biggest rival. He responded “No I would say the rival who was toughest was myself.” Which says it all right there.