Alberto Contador, apparently remembering the importance of taking a bite, won the first significant stage race of the season. Rather aware of the eyes on him, he said:
It’s very difficult to win a race when you’re the favourite. When everybody is after you and you win, it’s a liberation. Today its was short but intense as I had to reply to every attack. It was a great emotion on the podium as it would have been a pity to lose a big race like Paris-Nice on sprint bonuses.
Asked about his team’s strength on this Paris-Nice and his hopes for the next Tour de France, Contador said:
The first thing to do is not to get carried away and to analyse things calmly without losing sight of your priorities. As the years go by, I’ve progressed in terms of experience and maturity. My legs are fine, my head is too, I hope the team will be even stronger in July to help me win the Tour.There are about seven or eight riders who can win the Tour because of their individual or their collective strength. I’m one of them.
Paris-Nice final standings
1. Alberto Contador (Spain, Astana)
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spain, Caisse d’Epargne) 11 seconds behind
3. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spain, Caisse d’Epargne) 25 secs.