The Spanish media are heralding Alberto Contador as the “new Indurain.”
Fresh off a narrow overall 2010 Tour de France victory ahead of Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank), Contador is being hailed as the latest sports hero in the Spanish media.
The Spanish sports daily AS called Contador “the new Indurain” in honor of Spain’s five-time Tour-winner Miguel Indurain.
The other leading sports daily, MARCA, wrote on its front-page photo from the Champs-Élysées in Monday’s edition Contador’s winning message: “The key is to know how to suffer.” The national daily El Mundo wrote, “On the way of the legends.” El País headlined: “Contatrés.”
“This has been a Tour of suffering, very hard, both physically and psychologically,” Contador said. “I really suffered. I had to make a more economical race, more calculating. There were times to be aggressive, other times conservative, and leaving the spectacle to the side.”
Contador was also featured on a prime-time interview broadcast live from Paris and was the center of the Monday morning chat shows.
His victory comes on the heels of Spain’s win in soccer’s World Cup in what’s being called the “year of Spain’s sport domination.” Other accomplishments include recent triumphs from Spanish tennis star Rafa Nadal, Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso and NBA star Pau Gasol.
With three wins in four years, Contador enters the Tour’s “three-win club,” which also includes Philippe Thys, Louison Bobet and Greg LeMond.
“I know that I’ve made an important step in history, that my name is now alongside some legendary names,” Contador said Sunday. “Now is the time to enjoy this victory and be with the people who’ve supported me and who are celebrating my victory.”
Contador is scheduled to arrive in Madrid on Monday, where he will be welcomed as a returning hero by national media and fans. He will visit local dignitaries before returning to his hometown of El Pinto, a small village south of Madrid.