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Video: Alberto Contador aims for Tour of Spain stages; Chris Froome "fine" after crash

Two-time winner names his choice for the overall and reveals his boyhood hero

"It's the best race of the year," says Alberto Contador about the Tour of Spain in this video by GCN. The winner of the 2008 and 2012 editions of Spain's grand tour tells Matt Stephens that he still has some knee pain after crashing out of the Tour de France in July, but thinks he can still take stages in the 2014 edition of his national race, which starts Saturday.

Contador tells Stephens who he thinks will win the Tour of Spain and reveals which rider was his boyhood hero as he came up through the ranks of cycling. He also discusses the imminent arrival of Peer Sagan and Ivan Basso on the Tinkoff Saxo team.

The video is shot as Tinkoff Saxo prepare for the opening stage of the race in Jerez de la Frontera where it's forecast to be 32°C tomorrow. We're sure everyone else shivering through the UK's current very un-August weather will join us in having no sympathy at all for Matt Stephens when he complains it's a bit warm.

Meanwhile, the other crash-casualty of the Tour de France, Chris Froome, says he is fine after his recent crash while reconnoitring the course of the Tour of Spain's opening time trial.

"The first thing that went through my mind was 'here we go again,'" Froome told the Team Sky website. "There were flashbacks from the Tour. There was just a bit of oil on the road and I'm sure that whoever the first guy was heading into that roundabout would have gone down too. It's one of those things but I didn't get hurt. It was very slow speed. I'm fine and ready to go on Saturday."

Froome described Sky's squad for the race, some of whom he hasn't ridden with since Sky's January training camp, as "a really well-balanced team … and a good bunch of guys."

Their first challenge will be that team time trial course, which will hopefully be free from oil when the riders roll out on Saturday evening.

"The team time trial is going to be a tough stage, especially with the start on the pave and the number of roundabouts," said Froome. "We're one of the last teams off so we'll be able to see what we're up against and to see how other teams fare before we go off. The stage is a big objective for us and it would be a really great for us to start off with a good result in the TTT."

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for Along with founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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