Contador hoping to shift stomach problem

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Alberto Contador hopes to make a swift recovery from the stomach problem that has hampered him in the early stages of the Vuelta a Espana so he can challenge for the general classification title.

The Spaniard has endured a disappointing start to the final Grand Tour of his career, having already lost over three minutes to leader Chris Froome.

After giving up another 30 seconds to Froome and Team Sky in the opening stage team time trial, things went from bad to worse for Contador on Monday.

While his GC rival battled for the stage win in Andorra, Contador was a long way back, the 34-year-old seemingly under par on the first gruelling mountain stage.

He managed to maintain his position on stage four before confirming he had been battling a stomach bug - something he hopes to have dealt with so he can turn his attention to cutting the deficit.

"You never know with a virus whether it's something that's going to be a problem that only affects you for one day or for several," Contador said.

"I hope it'll go, but the opposite could happen. We'll go day by day, stay concentrated and fingers crossed I'll hit the same kind of form that I had before la Vuelta.

 

#LaVuelta #Stage4 #Diadetransicion @treksegafredo : @photogomezsport

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"Yesterday [Monday] was something very strange, I had something wrong with digestion and I did not feel good at all.

"Obviously that was not my place, but now we have to see how many days it will take to fully recover from this, and see what we can do in the remainder of the race.

"Thankfully I already felt much better and the team helped me to be well-placed. Today was not difficult and did not take a lot of effort and that was helpful. 

"We will go day by day, and I hope to be back to the same feeling that I had at the start of the race, but we will see tomorrow."

Contador is not the only Trek-Segafredo rider struck down with illness, sprinter John Degenkolb was also struggling and finished Tuesday four minutes behind stage winner Matteo Trentin.