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Contador’s lack of class

Just got back from watching Stage 15 from Pamiers to Bagnères du Luchon up at the Warehouse, and like many others, I must assert that Alberto Contador is a complete and total douchebag.

For those who missed the stage, Team Saxo Bank’s Andy Schleck, the then-current leader of the this year’s Tour attacked on the final climb up the hors category Port de Balès, and opened a decent gap. Astana’s Alexandre Vinokourov countered and was closing the gap when Andy got out of the saddle to stomp on the pedals and dropped his chain (it was pretty amazing to watch) … as Schleck was looking down to try to figure out what happened, Astana leader Alberto Contador launched a hard attack from well behind Schleck and was followed by Sammy Sanchez (Euskatel-Euskado) and Denis Menchov (Rabobank).

Contador says he had already launched his attack, but if you look at the replays, it was very obvious that Schleck was having some sort of mechanical issue; even if you take him at his word, he knew about the problem immediately after and could have shut it down and given Schleck a few seconds to get his chain back on and rejoin the group before attacking.

It’s a 3-week race, and there are unwritten rules.

You don’t attack in the feed zone. You don’t attack during a “natural break” … and you don’t attack the maillot jaune when he has a mechanical.

I’m not saying stop and wait, but at least stop pushing the pace to give the leader a chance to get back in the group before attacking. You don’t have to wait for him to recover once he’s back, but at least give him a chance to get back.

Maybe Contador wouldn’t have re-taken the yellow jersey today if he had waited. Maybe he would. Who knows? In any case, the following quote by Gerard Vroomen (owner of Cervelo Test Team) says it best: “Contador just gained a great chance to win, but he lost the chance to win greatly.”

7 Comments on "Contador’s lack of class"

  1. sorry, but “unwritten rule” or not, the point of the race is to win, and as long as Contador didn’t cheat, all is fine…..

  2. Technically, yeah … but cycling isn’t just a sport about winning and losing. It’s about panache and class; and Contador showed a complete lack of same by attacking and pushing the pace when he did.

  3. panache my ass, unwritten rules are for the fans, watching on TV, we can suppose left and right, but we will never know if bert knew or didn’t know about schlecks mis-shift. Even Riis said shit happens, as did andy himself after he cooled down.

    There are 2 million moving parts in the equation, everyone is quick to judge on the unwritten rule whihc is one, small part. step outside of the box.

  4. Barefootgypsy | 20 July 2010 at 14:23:49 |

    Sorry if it had been reversed you know Andy would have done the same…he says he wouldn’t but he would have taken the opportunity to gain time. Also, what about Sanchez and Menchov, they weren’t going to wait (anyone criticizing them?) and Contador couldn’t let them gain time. Come on, let the guy alone, no one should be booed on the podium!

  5. We will have to agree to disagree about the point of a race! :)

  6. Schleck had better take care of himself, or he might not even make it to the podium

  7. I think it’s a shame the attitude many have about sports now. It seems to me the attitude is “win at all costs”. This generation is forgetting the “sportmanship” aspect of sport. Pity.

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