Reigning Vuelta Espana 2014 rider Contador embarked on a very “challenging” 2015 riding season by ascending the 5895 m high Kilimanjaro tip last Wednesday with his teammates in Tinkoff-Saxo.
“It was quite a great experience which dawned the herald of my 2015 riding season, possibly the challenging most of my riding career with Giro Italia & Tour France double objective”, stated the famous Spanish rider. “Now, I would have to focus strongly on riding.”
The defending Vuelta Espana champion attended a pre-season training camp at Tanzania with the Balkan WorldTour squad, that included as many as 72 staffs & riders. Over 6 days, they went on through the Machame Route located at the southern face of Kilimanjaro at 10,065 ft or 5895m.
After ascending from the lavish rain wilds to Shira Plateau (3810), the weather became really rough. The squad reported the worst scenario ever seen in Tanzania in the last decade & the 4 members were forced to halt.
“The weather definitely did not help us”, shared Contador. “For the initial 3 days, it was raining immensely & we did not even get sufficient time to properly dry up our wet equipments such as sleeping bags and tents and the wet clothes.”
“Definitely, the actual test was final ascend to the tip on the final day. Our team went from last camp that was situated at 4600 m to highest peak of Kilimanjaro”, he continued. “That very day we got up at around 11:30 p.m. & aimed to reach up to the tip by sunrise- it was not possible to sleep. Before we got to the top, the weather was too windy and too harsh to climb up safely. But fortunately, the wind slowed down gradually & we wanted to make an attempt.”