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Cycling: Ex-Tour champ Contador relishing arrival in his territory

Published on Jul 12, 2014 7:01 PM
Spain's Alberto Contador rides in the pack during the 234.5 km seventh stage of the 101st edition of the Tour de France cycling race on July 11, 2014 between Epernay and Nancy, northeastern France. -- PHOTO: AFP 

TOMBLAINE, France (AFP) - Alberto Contador was licking his lips ahead of the start of Saturday's eighth stage of cycling's Tour de France.

After a chaotic first week in which the Tour lost its defending champion to injury - Chris Froome suffered fractures to his wrist and hand after falling three times in two days before abandoning the race on Wednesday - the peloton moves into the Vosges in eastern France ahead of the first true high mountain stages.

Saturday's 161km run from Tomblaine to Gerardmer will provide another chance for the favourites to test themselves against each other.

And Contador can't wait, although he's not sure Saturday's stage will be ideal for him to start pulling back his 2min 37sec deficit to race leader Vincenzo Nibali.

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