Contador snatches TDF yellow

2010-07-19 17:28

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


  • adw - 2010-07-19 17:38

    Contador should not have attacked when Scleck experienced a mechanical problem. there is an unwritten rule in cycling that you do not attack under such conditions. All great riders such as Merkx ,Ullrich, Hinault, Fignon never attacked their opponents when they experienced mechanical problems. I hope Schleck gets his lead back tomorrow.

  • Go Schleck - 2010-07-19 17:45

    Sneaky, sneaky spaniard. Sometimes I worry about Contador's sportsmanship - although I never doubt him as an athlete. This year I am definitely backing Andy!! Think he can take back some time tomorrow.

  • ralph - 2010-07-19 18:03

    I liked Contador but change is here. To not slow down when you opponent has mechanical failure is not in the spirit of the Tour. I remember when Lance had problems Jan and the rest waited.....Go Schleck, go !!! I think the French were right to boo Contador at the yellow Jersey presentation....

  • Gary Botha - 2010-07-19 18:04

    After many years of racing and watching the Tour I was disgusted to watch Contador continue past Schleck. Cycling etiquette frowns on those who take unfair advantage to try and win at all costs. The right way of doing things is to wait for your opponent and then, when the playing fields are even, beat him fair and square. I only hope that the anger Schleck must be feeling right now transforms into a storming victory over Contador over the next two stages. If not, Contador should watch his back, he could have a few less allies in the pelaton, and the wheel of destruction could easily turn in his direction.

  • Kitchener - 2010-07-19 18:05

    What utter poppycock! Are you seriously suggesting that Alberto Contador should have waited for Andy Schleck wile Sammy Sanchez and Denis Menchov cut into a fragile 2 minute lead and became genuine yellow jersey contenders? If you think fellows like Merckx or Hinault would have done likewise under those circumstances then you're painfully ignorant. What you're suggesting is nothing short of disprespectful to two fine riders such as Sanchez and Menchov. Nothing wrong with Contador's sportsmanship and there's no "unwritten" rule that says you have to jeopardise your chances of winning the Tour to help an opponent. If it had been just the two of them you may have had a point, but it wasn't.

  • Jaco - 2010-07-19 18:08

    Remember the Amstrong - Jan Ullrich fights in the TDF - both of them would not have attacked when the other had a mechanical failure - poor sportsmanship Contador!!!!!! I hope Schleck kills him tomorrow in the mountains

  • DC - 2010-07-19 18:16

    Oh, and you guys would have stopped? please, its not Contadors fault that Schleck did not ride properly.It was his error for jumping his bike.if a defender slips in soccer, must the attacker now not score? give me a break

  • pap & wors - 2010-07-19 18:17

    I'm hoping Andy Schleck wins the Tour de France. However, I see nothing wrong with Contador seizing the opportunity to take the lead. After all it is a race. If the roles were reversed I would expect Schleck to race away.

  • Gary Botha - 2010-07-19 18:21

    Obviously kitchener has either a never watched the tour when Lance fell and his opponents waited for him to regain his position or alternatively has never ridden a bike race! You need to educate yourself with the finer points of cycling.

  • Kitchener - 2010-07-19 18:35

    Gary Botha, you're making childish and ignorant statements while completely ignoring the point I made. Did you see the bit where I spoke about the threat of Menchov and Sanchez or are you just pretending they don't exist? Be a good chap and either address the point I'm actually making or else shut your silly little cakehole. Okay? Contador was not in a situation where he could do the noble thing. To say otherwise is both naive and disrepectful to riders like Menchov and Sanchez.

  • adriaan lombard - 2010-07-19 18:39

    if it was me i would punch him in the face and ask him how that feels , like a sportsman or not he is a scared little boy that got beaten in hes own game and now he saw that as the only way to beat him what a pitty.... conta loser ... i was a fan but now i am a scleck man and fan .... viva scleck

  • @Kitchener - 2010-07-19 18:58

    Thanks Johan Bruyneel. I guarantee that if contador had made a point to wait then menchov and sanchez would have sat up as well. If menchov and sanchez were ahead and the other 2 were chasing then contador could have gone, but there were no yellow jersey contenders threatening. The beauty of a race with so much tradition is that there are such "unwritten" rules...

  • DC - 2010-07-19 19:04

    The people upset with Contador are the same people who scored a trie at school rugby after the defender sliped. What is your point people. Who are you guys to now take a moral highground here. Did someone die and make you judge on all mankind and morals.

  • Gary - 2010-07-19 19:08

    Sorry Kitchner, Sanchez & Menchov were 10 metres behind and if Contador had waited they would have. But he went & they had to follow.

  • Jeanette - 2010-07-19 19:13

    Totally agree with Go Schleck. I am Andy sure will be able to make up the time in the next stage! Go Andy Go, there is nothing more I would like to see than you ride in yellow to Paris on Sunday.

  • Kitchener - 2010-07-19 19:34

    That's just more codswallop, Gary old bean. How do you know Menchov and Sanchez would have waited? How would Contador have known that? You're just speculating. I have no doubt your retort will be something juvenile about how much you know and how little everyone else knows about the sport but trust me, I'll bet British pounds to Zimbabwean dollars that I've been watching the Tour de France since before you found your first ball-hair . . . although to be honest, judging by your replies on this thread, that blessed event is yet to occur.

  • ian - 2010-07-19 19:59

    I didnt see any of them waiting up for Armstrong when he fell and got a puncture in earlier stages, while still in contention.

  • Fleishack - 2010-07-19 20:19

    Ok Ok calm down there Kitchener, no good boasting what a big couch potatoe you are... fact remains, lance waited for jan, jan waited for lance, when their races were equally poised to go either way, and Andy would definitely have waited dor Alberto. The spaniard is feeling challenged for a change, Andy has legs that could take him to Paris in yellow and I think Contador might rue the day he stirred the fire in Andy's stomach... C'mon Andy revenge on Thursday's mountain top finish!!

  • Kitchener - 2010-07-19 20:45

    Fleishack, are you just pretending to sound this stupid? Please re-read what I said (and get someone to help you with some of the harder words if necessary) and it might dawn on you that I'm not only talking about the contest between Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador which is indeed evenly poised, I'm talking about Contador allowing both Denis Menchov and Sammy Sanchex to become yellow jersey threats. Sorry old fruit, you can sound as pompous and as condescending as you like, you're not going to convince me that Lance Armstrong, Jan Ullrich or anyone else would allow such a situation to happen. Andy Schleck was unlucky, but that doesn't make Alberto Contador the bad guy. Quite frankly, Team Saxo Bank are sounding like a bunch of crybabies. Let's not forget their pathetic little tantrum on the ride into Spa when Cancellara and co took it upon themselves to stop the bunched sprint . . . because they wanted to protest about the wet roads or something equally ridiculous . . . like it was the Race Director's fault that it rained! The Saxo Bank chaps need to man up a bit.

  • Cannibal Muzzin - 2010-07-19 21:33

    Contador have no class. What a champ we have here. Competitors will not attack when someone is down. Everyone knows this. It's unwritten rule. AC saw that he can not beat Andy, so AC had to "cheat". AC said that did not know that Andy had problem, WHAT, is he blind, because everyone else saw it. Everyone knows who is the true winner here. Hope Andy did not burn his legs too much trying to catch before the summit.

  • sean - 2010-07-19 22:18

    pathetic sportsmanship Contador !!!!!

  • Botha - 2010-07-20 03:28

    Kitchener has no clue. It's sad when someone becomes such an ugly person in a forum.

  • SteveO - 2010-07-20 08:34

    Whats the bet Schleck is back on Campagnolo next year, instead of the shite SRAM groupset? Bad luck Andy, but I still believe you could show Cuntador (sic) some manners on the Tourmalet...

  • Budgie - 2010-07-20 10:02

    Kitchener I have decided (and I think most would agree) that you are very aggressive. Personally I would rather be condescending than aggressive, especially when the person at whom my condescension is directed brings it upon himself. What is really annoying here is that you are the one who doesn't listen to what others are saying, and (now satisfying) you are thus the one who ends up looking like a douche. The fact of the matter is that Menchov and Sanchez were riding with Shleck and Contador when the incident happened - if Contador had done the noble thing and sat up for Schleck, as opposed to leading a full out counter attack, I have very little doubt in my mind that the other 2 riders (M&S) would've have done the same. You can go back in tdf history to all the great duels and you will discover a number of incidents where fellow yellow jersey contenders have sat up on the big climbs in the cases of mechanical failure or crashes. If Contador wins this tour by 8 seconds it will always be remembered as controversial because of yesterday's incident. And that's the bottom line... Schleck for yellow in Paris all the way!!

  • Boo - 2010-07-20 10:52

    You spell Contador with a "u" You just dont do that its dirty play

  • Kitchener - 2010-07-20 12:48

    Oh dear, Budgie, you seem to have mistaken me for someone who gives even the smallest toss about your whiny opinion. Awfully sorry old chap, you couldn't be more mistaken if you tried . . . but keep stamping your little foot in self-righteous indignation . . . it's jolly amusing if nothing else.

  • U Chop - 2010-07-21 08:03

    @ Kitchener....Clearly you do give "the smallest toss" about what people say, you replied to every single comment made against you, and whats your fascination with Bothas balls, whether they have hair or not WGAF, if you so interested in balls though, go play with Contadors....Point is, they all should have waited in the spirit of the tour...i look forward to your reply u chop!!!

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