Contador’s cowardly attack overshadows Voeckler’s brilliant ride

Thomas Voeckler

Voeckler triumphs in Stage 15 - Image courtesy AFP Photo

In what will certainly be debated for some time, Alberto Contador attacked race leader and his biggest rival Andy Schleck when Schleck threw his chain on the climb up Port de Bales. Schleck ended up loosing 39 seconds to Contador on the day, as well as his yellow jersey, and possibly the Tour de France.

There is an unwritten rule in cycling that you don’t attack the race leader because of a mechanical problem. Everyone remembers the 2003 Tour when Tyler Hamilton slowed the GC favorites group down when Armstrong crashed on the climb up Luz Ardiden and then went on to win the stage and the Tour.

Schleck had attacked Contador and created at least 25 meters of separation before he threw his chain. This allowed Contador and the other GC favorites to catch back on and subsequently launch a counter attack. I see both sides of the argument: it’s a race and it was not Contador’s fault that Schleck had a mechanical problem. That being said, is that the way you really want to win the Tour? Because you launched a cowardly attack when you weren’t able to cover the move in the first place?

Sport is about winning. However, there is something to be said about doing it the right way. I went back and watched the tape because the announcers tried to justify Contador’s behavior by saying that he was covering the move of Menchov and Sanchez. Obviously that was not the case because the first, and only one to respond to Schleck’s move, was Alexander Vinokourov. Alberto Contador had clearly been caught out. After reviewing the tape it was not Menchov or Sanchez who attacked but Contador. If that’s the way he wants to win it so be it, he is the one who will have to live with it and answer the questions until next year’s Tour. But in my opinion, it is a pathetic way to win the Tour if that’s how it plays out.

I really wasn’t rooting for either rider one way or the other, I was routing for Armstrong to add another chapter to his storied career. Now I hope Schleck comes out and kick’s Contador’s butt tomorrow and Thursday. This Tour has certainly been dramatic with crashes and mechanical issues putting an end to several top contenders Tour hopes and that’s the way sport goes. Anyone who rides has thrown a chain or flatted at the wrong time, it just happens.

All this drama certainly takes away from the fact that Thomas Voeckler rode brilliantly to take the stage win. Voeckler is one of those riders who always gives it his best when he is competing, so it is hard not to be happy for a rider like that.

Certainly Andy Schleck and his Saxo Bank teammates will be looking to exact some revenge on Contador, Menchov, and Sanchez for their antics today. Does Saxo have enough in the tank to drop the hammer and put the hurt on?

Time will tell…

The new GC after stage 15:

1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 72:50:42  
2 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:08  
3 Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi 0:02:00  
4 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 0:02:13  
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7 Responses to Contador’s cowardly attack overshadows Voeckler’s brilliant ride

  1. Ward Dorrity says:

    As a former Masters racer and an avid Tour fan, I offer the following observation: Contador’s a no-class Euroweasel. I sincerely hope that Andy’s got what it takes to humiliate Contador. I think he does…

    • Todd Kinsey says:

      I’m with you, Contador showed he’s classless. I’m all in for Schleck now and I hope he opens a can of whoop @ss on Contador.

      As a sprinter, I don’t climb very well, and that’s being nice… I climb horribly. During sprints I have thrown my chain more than once and snapped two, once while out of the saddle that caused a huge crash. It’s one of those things that happens and you live with it but what Contador did was just terrible.

  2. dorado says:

    he knew exactly what he was doing. did u see the post race comment? he claimed he didn’t know what was going on until after he passed him. you could see the discomfort on his face on the podium as well. he knew what he had done.

    i hope his bad karma catches up to him. maybe a crash or he bonks, or gets busted for doping. totally classless.

    • Todd Kinsey says:

      Yes I did. He was lying through his teeth. If he doesn’t get his this year these things always have a way of working themselves out, he’ll get his in the end.

      I think it also puts into perspective his actions during last year’s Tour when Armstrong could have had the jersey for a couple of days. Contador is proving to be quite the arse hole.

  3. lol says:

    You wanted Dopestrong to win an 8th Tour de France and you call Contador classless then? Boy, you’re one of the biggest idiots ever known to ape-kind.

    I hope you know Armstrong tested positive 6 times for EPO during the Tour de France of 1999. The only reason why he didn’t get banned for it was because the tests were done in 2005 and Armstrong’s lawyers found some procedural errors. In 1999 EPO tests didn’t exist yet, so they could easily dope and get away with it. Armstrong has got a BIG case against him know and I hope he’ll go down like the cheater he is 🙂 The prosecutor also got Maria Jones in jail, so let’s hope for the best and hope Armstrong will go to jail as well 🙂

    By the way, Schleck threw of his own chain by not shifting correctly and he didn’t wait on stage 3 when the yellow jersey Chavanel had a mechanical. I guess this “unwritten” rule only applies to Baby Schleck?


    • Todd Kinsey says:

      Evidently anyone who isn’t in agreement with your asinine view of the world is an idiot. You must be a liberal. You also might want to mix in a spell check too but that being said; I know why Schleck’s chain came off, I race, and have had the same thing happen to me. My reasoning for the statement is that Contador wasn’t able to follow Schleck’s move and attacked only when he saw Andy had a mechanical problem not because he was the better rider that day. If you disagree, that’s your prerogative. Personally, I think it was in poor form and obviously Contador agrees, otherwise he wouldn’t have apologized.

      As far as Lance is concerned, if he doped, then he will have to face the music and pay the price. He is a hero to millions of people around the world (myself included) and his foundation does amazing things for those who have been stricken with cancer. I am very aware that some samples from the ’99 Tour have been questioned but so have the procedures and handling. I choose to believe that he is innocent until proven guilty. The fact of the matter is that he was the most tested athlete in the world between 1999 and 2005 and never tested positive. If you want to hate him on speculation and hearsay, go right ahead.

      What is sad is that so many cyclists feel compelled that they have to take drugs to succeed in sport. You have Jan Ullrich, Basso, Landis, and the list goes on and on. In the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s it was common for DS’s to hand amphetamines out the car window along with water bottles. How sick is that? Yet it was commonplace in cycling.

      Personally I think the better cyclist won the Tour. If you look at my prediction, I felt it was Contador’s race to lose, however, the margin of victory was exactly what he gained on that day. As a certain rider said “every second counts.”

      Thanks for reading.

    • Todd Kinsey says:

      What do you think of your doping Contador now?

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