Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 5th 2014 Contents A64
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, July 5, 2014
LEEDS--- Chastened by a
miserable season on his bike
last year when all he saw of
chief rival Chris Froome was
his back, Alberto Contador
vowed to do better and
changed his training.
An instinctive rider gifted
with natural abilities in the
mountains, the leader of the
Tinkoff-Saxo outfit had long
been reluctant to accept inno-
vative training methods, usually
preferring quantity to quality,
and spending long hours on
the road during the winter
This year, Contador rode less.
He consented to increase his
workload in altitude on the
slopes of the Mount Teide in
Tenerife, as well as using a
power meter, and worked with
Stephen De Jongh, a former
Team Sky sports director who
is said to have helped him con-
trol his weight.
"For more than 10 years, he
stuck to the same program over
the winter, accumulating kilo-
meters and hours in the saddle,"
Tinkoff-Saxo sports director
Laurent Mauduit said. "This
year, he has replaced quantity
with quality. He has worked
with great intensity, and tried
to dig into his reserves."
The payoff has been worth
it, so far. Contador is back to
his best form in years, and the
Spaniard lines up for the start
of the Tour de France on Sat-
urday believing a third victory
is within his grasp.
At 31, "El Pistolero" can
expect to remain in top con-
dition for only a few more
years. He has won five grand
tours, including two Tours, and
after being tamed by Froome
and finishing fourth last year
in the heat of the French sum-
mer, he is ready to mount a
"This is a very special Tour
for me," said Contador, who
was stripped of the 2010 Tour
title for a doping violation and
lost a podium spot in the 2013
Tour on the penultimate stage.
"Froome is the man to beat,
he has been the best in the last
two years, and has shown his
form in the Tour before. But
I m in a better shape than last
year. I don t know if it will be
enough to beat him but I ll try."
Contador was in superb form
in March when he won the
race. Then last month at the
Criterium du Dauphine, the
Tour s dress rehearsal, Contador
did not win but came out on
top of a fierce battle with
Froome to confirm his status
as the Briton s main challenger.
"The Dauphine was a very
good test for me, it was good
for my confidence that I resis-
ted all of Froome s attacks,"
Contador said. "I don t know
it was a great test. Good for
With less time trialing this
year, Contador believes the race
will be decided in the moun-
tains. He also thinks his strong
team of experienced riders,
including 14-time Paris-
Roubaix veteran Matteo Tosat-
to, will be a key asset during
the fifth stage featuring nine
sections of cobblestones.
"You will have to face stage
five with a lot of respect," said
Contador, who escaped
unscathed when the race last
hit similar terrain in 2010. "It
will mean survival for every-
body. You have to be confident.
You can lose the Tour on that
Contador back on top of
his game ahead of Tour CLEVELAND---Four years after their messy breakup,
the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James are talking
about a reunion.
Cavs officials met with James agent, Rich Paul, this
week about the free-agent superstar s possible return.
The sides met as James continued his family vacation,
a person with knowledge of the details said on Thurs-
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because
of the sensitive nature of the talks.
James recently opted out of the final two years of
his contract in Miami. The two-time NBA champion
has gone to four straight finals with the Heat. However,
after the team was throttled by San Antonio in this
year s finals, James said he would weigh his options
One of them could be re-signing with the Cavs, the
team he spent seven seasons with before leaving in
2010 to join forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh
in South Florida. Wade and Bosh also opted out of
their deals with Heat, raising speculation the "Big
Three" could be headed in different directions.
James decision to leave Cleveland prompted owner
Dan Gilbert to condemn him in a scathing letter to
Cavs fans. The owner also told The AP he felt James
had quit during games in the playoffs.
It was reported that Paul also met with representatives
for Phoenix, Houston and Dallas.
The Cavs have waited patiently for their chance to
try and convince the Akron, Ohio, native to come
home. In the past few weeks, the Cavs have hired new
coach David Blatt, selected Kansas swingman Andrew
Wiggins with the No 1 overall pick and signed All-
Star point guard Kyrie Irving to a five-year, $90 million
Now, they re working on bringing back James, who
has never ruled out the possibility of a return.
Two years ago, James was asked if he could ever see
himself playing for the Cavs again.
"It would be great," he said. "It would be fun to play
in front of these fans again. I had a lot fun times in
my seven years here. You can t predict the future and
hopefully I continue to stay healthy. I m here as a
Miami Heat player, and I m happy where I am now,
but I don t rule that out in no sense.
"And if I decide to come back, hopefully the fans
will accept me."
James was booed mercilessly by Cleveland fans in
his first games back with the Heat, but in recent years
he has been received more favorably.
Miami has been pursuing free agents and Yahoo
Sports reported team president Pat Riley and coach
Erik Spoelstra met in Los Angeles with Lakers free
agent Pau Gasol. James is scheduled to be in Las Vegas
next week to host a basketball camp, and then is expect-
ed to attend the World Cup in Brazil. (AP)
NEW YORK---The Knicks
went coast to coast to let
Carmelo Anthony know they
want him to stay in New York.
Team officials traveled to Los
Angeles on Thursday night to
meet with the free agent and
offered him the maximum
contract allowable, nearly $130
million over five years, a person
with knowledge of the details
Team President Phil Jackson
and general manager Steve
Mills were part of the meeting
but not Madison Square Gar-
den chairman James Dolan, an
official with knowledge of the
plans told The Associated Press
on condition of anonymity
because details of the meeting
were to remain private.
Anthony was in Los Angeles
to meet with the Lakers, who
are among the teams hoping
to convince the All-Star for-
ward to leave New York.
Anthony also visited Chicago,
Houston and Dallas this week.
The Knicks can offer him
the largest contract, though
Jackson has said he hopes
Anthony would take less than
a maximum deal. Anthony had
previously said he would be
willing to do so if it would help
build a winning team, but the
Knicks have made it clear that
money won t be an object.
Other teams can offer
Anthony slightly less than $100
million in a four-year deal,
according to NBA rules.
Contracts can t be signed
until July 10, so Anthony is
under no rush to make a deci-
sion. But the Knicks appar-
ently wanted to make sure
they got to make a final pitch
after his free agency tour.
Anthony has never said he
wants to leave the Knicks,
who acquired him from Den-
ver in a February 2011 trade.
But the 30-year-old forward
also said his priority was con-
tending for championships,
and the Knicks were just 37-
45 last season, the first time
in Anthony s 11-year career
that he missed the playoffs.
Knicks offer Anthony max contract
SAN ANTONIO---The San Antonio Spurs say Manu
Ginobili has a stress fracture of the lower fibula of
his right leg.
The injury could knock the key reserve for the
NBA champion Spurs out of the upcoming World
Cup, where he was scheduled to play for Argenti-
na.The tournament starts at the end of August in
Spain. Ginobili wrote on Tuesday on his Facebook
page that his availability will depend on how he feels
in about three weeks, but that he remains optimistic.
It s unclear when Ginobili was injured. He averaged
14.4 points in the NBA Finals, when the Spurs beat
Miami in five games to give Ginobili his fourth cham-
fracture of right leg
Spain's Alberto Contador, centre, rides with his teammates during a training session ahead of the
Tour de France cycling race in Leeds, Britain, yesterday. The Tour de France starts today in Leeds, and
finishes in Paris on July 27. AP PHOTO
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