Oh, is that what it is?
After a few flurries, Contador took a sharp dig, accelerating on the steeps like only he can. Saxo Bank’s Andy Schleck took up the chase with only six of men able to follow. Under the 1km kit, Garmin’s Bradley Wiggins attacked, and Evans countered.
Across the line, Contador had put 21 seconds on his chasers. In doing so, he moved into second overall — and sent a message to the world.
Yep … his message is that he doesn’t care about team tactics; doesn’t care about attacking his own teammate, and based on quotes in the next excerpt has the balls to lie about it.
Contador said he was responding to attacks from his rivals and was not trying to gap his teammates, but he admitted that the strong headwinds short-circuited his bid for yellow.
“We were waiting to see how the race unfolded and we saw Schleck and Evans moving, so I wanted to try. The time differences were small, but it’s good for what lies ahead,” Contador said. “In balance, this is good for the team. I don’t think this changes anything within the team.”
Contador’s gamble backfired and the spindly climber was stymied by fierce headwinds and fell six seconds short of taking yellow. Armstrong slipped into third at eight seconds back.
By attacking contrary to the team’s strategy, he publicly snubbed his nose at Armstrong and all but confirmed that speculation of behind-the-scenes division within the team is true.
Had Contador succeeded in grabbing yellow, he would be protected by the prestige and honor that comes with the race jersey. Now Armstrong will have no reason to hold back if he feels he has the legs to attack.
As Armstrong said in his post-race interview, “the team isn’t the problem” … nope; Contador is the problem. I will be very surprised if he is still riding for this same team/organization in 2010.