Alberto Contador said it is the prospect of completing a Giro d`Italia-Tour de France double which is motivating him rather than simply winning a third Grand Boucle.
The 32-year-old Spaniard won Italy`s premier road race back in May and will begin his quest for the double when the Tour begins on Saturday with a 13.8km timetrial around Utrecht.
Having previously won the Tour in 2007 and 2009, Contador said Thursday that another success on its own wouldn`t mean that much to him, but rather becoming only the eighth rider in history to do the Giro-Tour double would be special.
Italians Fausto Coppi (1949 and 1952) and Marco Pantani (1998), Frenchmen Jacques Anquetil (1964) and Bernard Hinault (1982 and 1985), Eddy Merckx of Belgium (1970, 1972, 1974), Ireland`s Stephen Roche (1987) and Spaniard Miguel Indurain (1992 and 1993) are the only others to achieve it.
"The most important thing in life, not just in cycling, is motivation, so for me the motivation is trying this double," said Tinkoff-Saxo leader Contador.
"But I know also that if I win another Tour without trying the double, it`s not something that can change my career very much. But if I get the double, that could change something, it would be remembered, so that`s another motivation for me."
Although the Giro is already in the bag -- his second after also winning in 2008 -- Contador says it would mean nothing without adding the Tour yellow jersey to his collection.
"I have prepared the Giro-Tour double by thinking about just one victory; not about a victory in the Giro and a victory in the Tour," added El Pistolero (the pistol).
"For me it`s one thing altogether and I think that can help me to achieve my objective. But I know it`s going to be very difficult."
What will no doubt work against Contador is the Tour route, which is considered to be particularly challenging with no room for respite.
The first nine stages present various difficulties and Contador was clear about how he would like to end that period.
"Of course, with a 20-minute advantage over the second-placed rider! But that would be very difficult. The first objective is to try to avoid crashes, that`s the most important thing because, especially this year, it`s a very complicated start to the Tour," he said.
"The first day there is a timetrial, the second day there will probably be wind, the third finishes on the Mur (wall) de Huy and then there`s the cobbles (on stage four).
"The most important thing is to not lose the Tour in these days."