Tour de France

Contador snatches TDF yellow

2010-07-19 17:28
Alberto Contador (AP)
Bagneres-De-Luchon - Alberto Contador signalled his yellow jersey intentions in defiant style after sensationally attacking Andy Schleck on Monday when the Luxemburger suffered a mechanical problem.

French champion Thomas Voeckler handed the hosts their fifth success of the race after soloing to victory on the 15th stage, finishing nearly three minutes ahead of the race favourites.

However, as he raced away to victory on the 21.5km descent from the Port de Bales climb, all the race drama was going on behind him.

Contador was caught by surprise by a Schleck attack inside the final two kilometres of the 19.3km ascent of the Bales summit.

Although he had moved to counter, the Spaniard did not stop for the Saxo Bank leader after his gear mechanism broke seconds later, leaving Schleck stranded on the hill and having to fix the problem himself.

Contador raced ahead with Russian Denis Menchov and Spaniard Samuel Sanchez to crest the summit just over 20sec ahead of Schleck.

And together the trio completed the descent, later catching up with several breakaway riders who had been droppped by Voeckler, to finish 39sec ahead of the Luxemburger.

Schleck, the runner-up to two-time champion Contador last year, is now eight seconds behind in second place, with Sanchez and Menchov still in third and fourth respectively.

Although mechanical problems are considered part and parcel of bike racing, Schleck hit out immediately at Contador for not being "fair play".

"In the same situation I would not have taken advantage," said Schleck, who had held the yellow jersey since taking it from Australia's Cadel Evans on stage nine.

"I'm not the jury, but for sure those guys wouldn't get the fair play award from me today."

Schleck had to hold his anger back as he swapped the yellow jersey for the white jersey for the race's best-placed rider aged 25 or under.

And he has promised to take his revenge on Contador swiftly.

"I'm really disappointed. My stomach is full of anger, and I want to take my revenge," he said.

"I will take my revenge in the coming days."

Contador pulled on the yellow jersey for the first time in this year's race, but said he was unaware that Schleck's chain had come off.

"I set out with the intention to attack on the climb, but when I countered Andy I didn't know he actually had a problem," said the Spaniard.

"When I knew he had the problem, it was already too late. We had taken a significant lead on him."

Saxo Bank team manager Bjarne Riis, meanwhile, appeared to side with Contador.

"I didn't see it but it's all part of racing circumstances," said the Dane.

"I think he (Contador) waited at the start, and then he went. That's just part of racing."

Voeckler kept the hosts' winning streak alive in the race just a day after Christophe Riblon's superb solo victory on the summit of Ax-3-Domaines.

The 31-year-old Bbox-Bouygues Telecom rider is perhaps best known for the 10 days he spent in the yellow jersey in 2004.

But he showed style and determination after attacking his breakaway group late in the climb to Bales to go on and claim his third stage win in the race.

"I worked hard for this stage win," said Voeckler, who admitted he almost abandoned the race last week.

"It has been a really difficult race for me and, if there had been crosswinds on (the stage during) July 14 instead of a headwind, I would almost certainly have pulled out.

"In the past three days I've been feeling much better."

Stage Fifteen Results:

1. Thomas Voeckler (FRA/BTL) 4h44min 51sec
(average: 39.4 km/h)
2. Alessandro Ballan (ITA/BMC) at 1:20.
3. Aitor Perez (ESP/FOT) 1:20.
4. Lloyd Mondory (FRA/ALM) 2:50.
5. Luke Roberts (AUS/MRM) 2:50.
6. Francesco Reda (ITA/QST) 2:50.
7. Alberto Contador (ESP/AST) 2:50.
8. Samuel Sanchez (ESP/EUS) 2:50.
9. Denis Menchov (RUS/RAB) 2:50.
10. Brian Vandborg (DEN/LIQ) 2:50.
11. Johan Van Summeren (BEL/GRM) 2:50.
12. Andy Schleck (LUX/SAX) 3:29.
13. Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL/OLO) 3:29.
14. Alexander Vinokourov (KAZ/AST) 3:29.
15. Robert Gesink (NED/RAB) 3:55.
16. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN/GRM) 3:55.
17. Levi Leipheimer (USA/RSH) 3:55.
18. John Gadret (FRA/ALM) 3:55.
19. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/LIQ) 4:08.
20. Kevin De Weert (BEL/QST) 4:08.
21. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) 4:08.
22. Andreas Kloden (GER/RSH) 4:08.
23. Lance Armstrong (USA/RSH) 4:08.
24. Carlos Sastre (ESP/CTT) 4:08.
25. Serguei Ivanov (RUS/KAT) 4:14.
26. Ruben Plaza (ESP/GCE) 5:18.
27. Christophe Moreau (FRA/GCE) 5:44.
28. Daniel Moreno (ESP/OLO) 5:44.
29. Juan Manuel Garate (ESP/RAB) 5:44.
30. Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP/GCE) 5:44.
31. Chris Horner (USA/RSH) 5:44.
32. Ivan Basso (ITA/LIQ) 5:44.
33. Matthew Lloyd (AUS/OLO) 5:44.
34. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/QST) 5:44.
35. Thomas Lovkvist (SWE/SKY) 5:44.
36. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 6:58.
37. Nicolas Roche (EIR/ALM) 7:52.
38. Christophe Le Mevel (FRA/FDJ) 8:35.
39. Maxime Monfort (BEL/THR) 8:35.
40. Julien El Fares (FRA/COF) 8:35.
41. Remi Pauriol (FRA/COF) 8:35.
42. Michael Rogers (AUS/THR) 8:35.
43. Volodomir Gustov (UKR/CTT) 8:35.
44. Steve Morabito (SWI/BMC) 8:35.
45. Iban Velasco (ESP/EUS) 8:35.
46. Mario Aerts (BEL/OLO) 8:35.
47. Daniel Navarro (ESP/AST) 8:35.
48. Bradley Wiggins (GBR/SKY) 9:35.
49. Inaki Isasi (ESP/EUS) 9:35.
50. Sergio Paulinho (POR/RSH) 9:35.
51. Sebastien Turgot (FRA/BTL) 9:35.
52. Eduard Vorganov (RUS/KAT) 12:01.
53. Paolo Tiralongo (ITA/AST) 12:41.
54. Chris Anker Sorensen (DEN/SAX) 13:04.
55. Alexandr Pliushkin (MDA/KAT) 13:08.
56. George Hincapie (USA/BMC) 13:08.
57. Remy Di Gregorio (FRA/FDJ) 13:08.
58. Grischa Niermann (GER/RAB) 13:08.
59. Damiano Cunego (ITA/LAM) 13:08.
60. Jesus Hernandez (ESP/AST) 13:08.
61. Francesco Gavazzi (ITA/LAM) 15:20.
62. Anthony Roux (FRA/FDJ) 15:44.
63. Sandy Casar (FRA/FDJ) 17:09.
64. Matthieu Ladagnous (FRA/FDJ) 17:09.
65. Jose Joaquin Rojas (ESP/GCE) 17:09.
66. Michael Barry (CAN/SKY) 17:09.
67. Alexandre Kolobnev (RUS/KAT) 17:09.
68. Sylvester Szmyd (POL/LIQ) 17:09.
69. Kanstantsin Siutsou (BLR/THR) 17:09.
70. Vasil Kiryienka (BLR/GCE) 17:09.
71. Benjamin Noval (ESP/AST) 17:09.
72. Jakob Diemer Fuglsang (DEN/SAX) 17:09.
73. David De la Fuente (ESP/AST) 17:09.
74. Francis de Greef (BEL/OLO) 17:09.
75. Maxime Bouet (FRA/ALM) 17:09.
76. Thomas Rohregger (AUT/MRM) 17:09.
77. Sebastian Lang (GER/OLO) 17:09.
78. Grega Bole (SLO/LAM) 17:09.
79. Janez Brajkovic (SLO/RSH) 17:09.
80. Anthony Charteau (FRA/BTL) 17:09.
81. Koos Moerenhout (NED/RAB) 17:09.
82. Cyril Gautier (FRA/BTL) 17:09.
83. Lars Boom (NED/RAB) 17:09.
84. Dimitri Champion (FRA/ALM) 17:09.
85. Arkaitz Duran (ESP/FOT) 17:09.
86. Jurgen Van De Walle (BEL/QST) 19:39.
87. Jurgen Roelandts (BEL/OLO) 19:39.
88. Maarten Wijnants (BEL/QST) 19:39.
89. Maartens Tjallingii (NED/RAB) 24:01.
90. Jerome Pineau (FRA/QST) 24:01.
91. Johannes Frohlinger (GER/MRM) 24:01.
92. Christophe Riblon (FRA/ALM) 24:01.
93. Christian Knees (GER/MRM) 24:01.
94. Sebastien Minard (FRA/COF) 24:01.
95. Pierrick Fedrigo (FRA/BTL) 24:01.
96. Pierre Rolland (FRA/BTL) 24:01.
97. Egoi Martinez (ESP/EUS) 24:01.
98. Nicki Sorensen (DEN/SAX) 24:01.
99. Dries Devenyns (BEL/QST) 24:01.
100. Mathieu Sprick (FRA/BTL) 24:01.
101. Ivan Gutierrez (ESP/GCE) 26:04.
102. Imanol Erviti (ESP/GCE) 26:04.
103. Matthieu Perget (FRA/GCE) 26:04.
104. Geraint Thomas (GBR/SKY) 26:04.
105. Eros Capecchi (ITA/FOT) 26:04.
106. Mauro Da Dalto (ITA/LAM) 26:04.
107. Pavel Brutt (RUS/KAT) 26:04.
108. Rafael Valls (ESP/FOT) 26:04.
109. Gorka Verdugo (ESP/EUS) 26:04.
110. Carlos Barredo (ESP/QST) 26:04.
111. Kevin Seeldraeyers (BEL/QST) 28:40.
112. Robbie McEwen (AUS/KAT) 28:49.
113. Mark Cavendish (IDM/THR) 28:49.
114. Mirco Lorenzetto (ITA/LAM) 28:49.
115. Alessandro Petacchi (ITA/LAM) 28:49.
116. Matti Breschel (DEN/SAX) 28:49.
117. Andriy Grivko (UKR/AST) 28:49.
118. Gerald Ciolek (GER/MRM) 28:49.
119. Bernhard Eisel (AUT/THR) 28:49.
120. Bert Grabsch (GER/THR) 28:49.
121. Yaroslav Popovych (UKR/RSH) 28:49.
122. Danilo Hondo (GER/LAM) 28:49.
123. Dmitry Muravyev (KAZ/RSH) 28:49.
124. Gregory Rast (SWI/RSH) 28:49.
125. Martin Elmiger (SWI/ALM) 28:49.
126. Juan Antonio Flecha (ESP/SKY) 28:49.
127. Karsten Kroon (NED/BMC) 28:49.
128. Julian Dean (NZL/GRM) 28:49.
129. Simon Spilak (SLO/LAM) 28:49.
130. Manuel Quinziato (ITA/LIQ) 28:49.
131. Kristjan Koren (SLO/LIQ) 28:49.
132. Tony Martin (GER/THR) 28:49.
133. Francesco Bellotti (ITA/LIQ) 28:49.
134. Linus Gerdemann (GER/MRM) 28:49.
135. Daniel Oss (ITA/LIQ) 28:49.
136. Aliaksandr Kuschynski (BLR/LIQ) 28:49.
137. Oscar Freire (ESP/RAB) 28:49.
138. Alan Perez Lezaun (ESP/EUS) 28:49.
139. Jose Alberto Benitez (ESP/FOT) 28:49.
140. Ruben Perez (ESP/EUS) 28:49.
141. Steven Cummings (ENG/SKY) 28:49.
142. Yukiya Arashiro (JPN/BTL) 28:49.
143. Adriano Malori (ITA/LAM) 28:49.
144. Nicolas Vogondy (FRA/BTL) 28:49.
145. Daniel Lloyd (ENG/CTT) 28:49.
146. Serge Pauwels (BEL/SKY) 28:49.
147. Brent Bookwalter (USA/BMC) 28:49.
148. Fabian Wegmann (GER/MRM) 28:49.
149. Brett Lancaster (AUS/CTT) 28:49.
150. Stuart O'Grady (AUS/SAX) 28:49.
151. David Millar (GBR/GRM) 28:49.
152. Martijn Maaskant (NED/GRM) 28:49.
153. Rui Costa (POR/GCE) 28:49.
154. David Zabriskie (USA/GRM) 28:49.
155. Wesley Sulzberger (AUS/FDJ) 28:49.
156. Amael Moinard (FRA/COF) 28:49.
157. Bram Tankink (NED/RAB) 28:49.
158. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR/SKY) 28:49.
159. Jens Voigt (GER/SAX) 28:49.
160. Thor Hushovd (NOR/CTT) 28:49.
161. Anthony Geslin (FRA/FDJ) 28:49.
162. Stephane Auge (FRA/COF) 28:49.
163. Marcus Burghardt (GER/BMC) 28:49.
164. Damien Monier (FRA/COF) 28:49.
165. Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA/ALM) 28:49.
166. Benoit Vaugrenard (FRA/FDJ) 28:49.
167. Maxim Iglinskiy (KAZ/AST) 28:49.
168. Andreas Klier (GER/CTT) 28:49.
169. Ignatas Konovalovas (LTU/CTT) 28:49.
170. Jeremy Hunt (GBR/CTT) 28:49.
171. Fabian Cancellara (SWI/SAX) 28:49.
172. Jeremy Roy (FRA/FDJ) 28:49.
173. Christophe Kern (FRA/COF) 29:57.
174. Ivan Mayoz (ESP/FOT) 30:37.
. Mauro Santambrogio (ITA/BMC) Retired

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