Tour de France: Will Contador pay for his breach of cycling's unwritten rules?
Tour de France Stage 15: Alberto Contador won the yellow but some say he committed a breach of race etiquette by attacking in the last climb of Stage 15 just as race leader Andy Schleck's chain popped off.
(Page 2 of 2)
“It’s usually a dish that’s best served cold, many races later, but sometimes it happens in the same race,” says Cycling Weekly’s Gregor Brown.Skip to next paragraph
During a stage of February’s Tour of Qatar, Britain’s Team Sky, aggrieved at the lack of cooperation from other teams to catch a breakaway, launched an attack while many riders were picking up food – a serious faux pas among cyclists.
Later that day, Sky’s Edvald Boasson Hagen, the race leader, had to make a pit stop.
As punishment for his team’s earlier transgression, rivals charged ahead without him, eventually knocking Boasson Hagen out of the lead.
Will Contador be punished by other cyclists?
Whether Contador will be subject to similar treatment remains to be seen as the Tour makes its way toward Sunday’s final stage in Paris.
Though Schleck declared that he would get “revenge” for yesterday’s incident and has former teammates that may look out for him – cooperation among teams is another unspoken tradition – Contador has much support in the peloton as well, especially from fellow Spanish riders.
In fact, the absence of a rules enforcer in the peloton may be the most interesting detail to come out of the ordeal.
There has been a clear hierarchy in the past, with so-called bosses like Lance Armstrong advising the peloton and doling out punishments.
But struggling through his last Tour, Armstrong may be more concerned with finishing the race than policing it.
And the unwritten rules may be suffering.
“It’s kind of like anarchy right now so we’re seeing these things happen,” says Cycling Weekly’s Brown.
- Tour de France 101: How long is the race?
- Tour de France 101: Is this a race of individuals or teams?
- How the Tour de France's yellow jersey came to be yellow