Alberto Contador looking forward to the 2015 Tour de France

Contador is confident about winning the 102nd edition of the Tour de France. He said that he likes the Tour and considers it to be harder than last year’s. He said that he needs to recover well after Giro d’Italia and he is confident about preparing himself in a thorough manner.

Bjarne Riis, the manager of Tinkoff-Saxo team, to which Contador belongs, has said that the course is favourable for them and he also called the tour tough and spectacular.

The opening stages of the race will be in Belgium and Northern France. Regarding that, Contador said that they’d have to be strong in the two uphill finishes because that can potentially make much more difference than long climbs. Contador also recognizes the importance of having a team that is strong enough to protect him, more importantly on the cobblestone stage which he regards to be difficult.

Contador said that the race requires a participant to be fresh and in good shape because it is very exhausting. He previously won the race in 2007 and 2009.

A team time trial event spanning 28 km concludes the first part of the Tour de France. Contador considers having a team that is fit and has all its members ready for the event to be crucial.

Contador considers that for the first part, it is crucial to go out without having to lose time because of the course being so much physically demanding because of so many uphill finishes.

An important issue in the course is recovery. Contador considers that in the case of defending a lead, things might get complicated. But in case a rider needs to attack, it might prove to be tactically advantageous.

Riis is hopeful of his team performing well in the Team Time Trial. He also said that he likes the course and further added that the course demands a team to be strong and having a short time trial is also good for them. He said that the Tour needs not always be same.

Still No Contract for Horner for Next Year

The racing season of Chris Horner, American veteran rider as well as member of Lampre-Merida came to an end on Sunday at the finale of World Tour, Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal. He has not signed any contract for the upcoming year. Horner told the Cyclingnews that nothing has been done for 2015. He has not signed anything. He further added that it is stressful if you do not have anything lined up at his age.

By winning at Vuelta a Espana, the 2013 season ended with a good note for Horner. But, the 42-year old racer had a very stormy 2014 which started with a serious accident in April which occurred during his training in Italy. He was hospitalized for many weeks and took a long time to recover. It was followed by bronchitis and tendonitis. These situations can raise question to any racer’s return to the main circuit again. But, he never lost his confidence and believed that he can race for at least a couple of more seasons at the optimum level.

He said that he wishes to race for one year or if possible two seasons. It is his firm belief that his age is the main reason he does not have a contract now for 2015. It has nothing to do with his capabilities. Horner said that it is very obvious that no team would like to go for an older racer. He has passed the expiry date of a racer and has been in the circuit for extra six or seven years. He further added that for him age is never a factor but for others it is. This is the main reason that only a few teams are willing to sign him up in spite of being a Grand Tour Winner.

When he was asked if Lampre-Merida does not renew the contract, which teams will be interested to sign him, he gave a diplomatic answer. He said that it is the job of his agent to know all this and he tries not to fret over them.

Cycling Campaigners Object Tfl’s Road Designs

Keeping in mind the recent cycling accidents that have taken place in Kings Cross, Transport for London (Tfl) came out with certain road designs which would create safer conditions for cyclists. However, many cyclists have protested against these designs and want Tfl to produce more effective road layouts.

On 12th August, 2014 many cycling campaigners got together in London to put forward their objection to Tfl’s road designs and claimed that the changes propounded by Tfl are not going to improve the safety of the cyclists.

According to James Gower (cycling campaigner and organizer who could not attend the campaign on Tuesday due to some illness), Tfl is trying to bring about these changes to Kings Cross to prove that things have been done to improve cycling conditions.

Gower maintains that Tfl is upholding the interest of the minority of the motor car owners and purposely ignoring the security of pedestrians as well as cyclists. Tfl has failed to provide dedicated road lanes for cycling enthusiasts in the new designs.

The main fault of the new road designs is that certain motor lanes appear to be protected as cycle lanes but then at some junctions those protected lanes tend to vanish. It is at these junctions that navigation becomes slow for the cyclists because of motor traffic (buses and construction lorries).

Many protestors said that they deliberately avoid using Kings Cross roads because they are not sure about the safety of the roads and thus they prefer taking longer routes.

Road Space Management’s Director at Tfl- Alan Bristow said that the road designs will be implemented this year and in around 6 months the work on Kings Cross will be completed. In the meantime they will continue to find out ways in which pedestrians, cyclists, motor car owners etc can use the road network safely.