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Nick Lees: Cycling world’s Alberto Contador in Edmonton for L’Etape race

Nick Lees: Cycling world's Alberto Contador in Edmonton for L’Etape race

Spain’s Alberto Contador, the much-celebrated major European tour cycling champion, and Edmonton’s Tour de France yellow jersey winner Alex Stieda, hosted Edmonton cycists at pre-event…

Sunday, Aug 14

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Spain’s Alberto Contador, the much-celebrated major European tour cycling champion, and Edmonton’s Tour de France yellow jersey winner Alex Stieda, hosted Edmonton cycists at pre-event ride dinner on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, organized by Tour de France staff. Article content

Spain’s Alberto Contador, 39, is one of the most successful riders of his era, winning the Tour de France twice (2007, 2009), the Giro d’Italia twice (2008, 2015), and the Vuelta a Espana three times (2008, 2012, 2014). Article content

The 1.7-metre tall, 62 kg cyclist is one of only seven riders to have won all three Grand Tours of cycling, and one of only two riders to have won all three more than once.

At a dinner with about 100 local cyclists at the Matrix Hotel Saturday night, the bearded, always-smiling cyclist, told me it takes a rider a while to realize they had won a major event.

“There is a commitment to many, to the media, team owners and others, to meet and talk about your participation,” he said. “I’d say it takes about four of five days before you can relax and appreciate your win.”

Contador, the third of four children, looked up to his cycling elder brother Francisco Javier while he himself took part in soccer and athletics.

“The day came when my brother got a new bike and I got his old one,” said Contador. “In very little time I was faster than him and he became my manager.” Article content Contador began to compete in races at […]

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