LUZ-ARDIDEN, France (AP) — Score one for the Schleck brothers — Andy and Frank — against defending champion Alberto Contador.
The Tour de France entered the Pyrenees on Thursday, and the Schlecks delivered a 1-2 punch with attacks at the end of the 131-mile Stage 12 from Cugnaux to the Luz-Ardiden ski station. By the finish, Contador was gritting his teeth.
Mark Cavendish nearly lost a shoe in the final stretch but kept his cool to win a rainy 11th stage of the Tour de France in a mass sprint Wednesday, easily beating Andre Greipel of Germany at the line to seize the leading sprinter’s green jersey.
Make no mistake, Alberto Contador is back on the prowl.
After a dismal start to the Tour de France, the three-time champion showed some of his old dominance Tuesday at cycling’s premier event. He gained seconds on his likely rivals by placing second to Stage 4 winner Cadel Evans in a two-man photo finish.
MADRID (AP) — Alberto Contador reiterated his innocence Thursday over his failed doping test at the Tour de France and slammed the Astana team for abandoning him once the news broke.
The 27-year-old Spanish cyclist is facing a two-year ban and risks losing his third Tour title after testing positive for the banned drug clenbuterol, which he claims came from contaminated meat.
COL DU TOURMALET, France (AP) — Defending champion Alberto Contador of Spain virtually secured a third Tour de France title Thursday after staying with yellow-jersey rival Andy Schleck all the way to the top of the legendary Col du Tourmalet in the pivotal 17th stage.
Schleck won the prestigious stage but Contador crossed the line nearly shoulder to shoulder with the Luxembourg rider after the pair had broken clear in the final six miles.
BOURG-LES-VALENCE, France (AP) — In the frenzied and dangerous mass sprints at the Tour de France, competitors often need to keep their heads.
Mark Renshaw decided to use his.
The Australian lead-out man for sprint specialist Mark Cavendish was kicked out of the race after head-butting a rival Thursday, which cleared a path for his British teammate to win his third stage at this year’s Tour.
“This is cycling. It’s not wrestling,” said course director Jean-Francois Pescheux, who called Renshaw’s aggressive tactics “flagrant” and the punishment necessary.
NEW YORK (AP) — Disgraced American cyclist Floyd Landis has admitted to systematic use of performance-enhancing drugs and accused seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong of involvement in doping, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
Lance Armstrong’s children were dressed in yellow. He was not.
When the seven-time Tour de France champion returned to the Tour podium Sunday, his family was there. His fans were there. And so was rival and teammate Alberto Contador — wearing the coveted and hard-won yellow jersey.
PARIS (AP) — The Tour de France ended Sunday without a single rider testing positive for doping — so far.
At an event hit by at least one drug scandal every year since 2000, including six in 2008 alone, does the lack of positives mean the peloton is clean?
Lance Armstrong finds himself in unfamiliar territory at this Tour de France — fighting just to remain among the top three riders.
Accustomed to dominating his way to victory, the seven-time Tour winner had to settle for a 16th-place finish in Thursday’s time trial and a tenuous grip on third place.
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