Tour de France Stage 16: Lance Armstrong attacks, just misses win
In Stage 16 of the Tour de France today, Lance Armstrong attacked on the final climb – dusting the two men vying for the overall win, Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck, by nearly seven minutes.
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Schleck and Contador détente
The rivalry between Contador and Schleck, who lost the yellow jersey after a mechanical issue on yesterday’s final climb, was supposed to heat up on Tuesday – with Schleck vowing 'revenge.'Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Scenes from the 2010 Tour de France
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Instead, it was reduced to a simmer after Contador released a YouTube apology overnight.
“The race was in full gear and maybe I made a mistake,” he said to the viewing public. “I’m sorry."
Before today’s race, Contador continued his mea culpa – meeting with Schleck in Bagnères-de-Luchon to talk things through.
“He came this morning to talk and explained everything to me – it’s over for me now,” Schleck told French radio. “You have to forget quickly in a business like this.”
Fans weren’t as kind – after the race they once again whistled in displeasure at Contador before Schleck, nearby, asked them to stop.
Fireworks on Thursday
Today’s terrain also prevented much action among the leaders – a 37-mile descent to the finish reduced chances for a solo attack by Schleck. Riders ride faster in bunches, especially on flat and downhill courses, so he would have had to put in the effort of a lifetime to stay out in front.
“If I had gone in the last 70 kilometers, I would have died,” he said.
After tomorrow’s rest day, the second of two in this three-week race, the final mountain stage is on the docket for Thursday, a 108-mile venture that ends atop the brutal Col du Tourmalet.
Schleck has already promised fireworks.
“Thursday we will see a big attack,” he said.
IN PICTURES: Scenes from the 2010 Tour de France
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