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大家看看Contador真的是會做人啦 Andy Schleck終奪第十七站雖然一路狠甩不掉難纏的Contador


Saxo Bank rider tries all he can to drop yellow jersey as the race's best two riders fight out the Tour's toughest stage

Andy Schleck & Alberto ContadorAndy Schleck (Saxo Bank) won the seventeenth stage of the Tour de France between Pau and the Col du Tourmalet after he and Alberto Contador (Astana) escaped halfway up the legendary climb. Contador, having done very little work as Schleck tried all he could to drop him, allowed Schleck to take the sprint but made sure he finished in the same time.

Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) escaped a select group of chasers to finish in third ahead of Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions).

With everything to play for, the race came down to a one on one battle between the two top riders of the race on the Tour’s toughest mountain.

“I’m satisfied with the stage win but I also wanted to turn white into yellow but unfortunately it wasn’t possible,” said Schleck at the finish. “I really tried hard, you have to believe me about that. I changed rhythm and I tried everything but I think we’re on the same level on the climbs.

“Alberto attacked and I could go with him – it was a quick response – but in the end he didn’t sprint to win the stage because I did the most work. I have a lot of respect for that; it shows that he’s a great champion.

“I tried to find out how he was feeling,” he continued. “You need to look at someone to see how he was coping. I think you can find out a lot if you look someone in the eyes. He didn’t have the sunglasses on today so it was possible to see, that’s why I looked so many times. But he always looked good and that’s kind of what killed me.

“El Pistolero is strong, huh? I could no drop him. He was always there. I wanted to find out if he was getting weak but he didn’t succumb. He even attacked me to show, ‘Hey, listen young boy, I’m still here! You better stop playing these games with me.’

“I’m super happy to win this stage today,” he added, “it’s the Queen stage of this year’s Tour. To win on the Tourmalet is like a win on Alpe d’Huez.

“When I turned to talk to him, I said: ‘You pass?’ And he didn’t,” he said of Contador’s gesture to let him take the stage. “I would have done the same. Why should he pass me? In the end, he let me win the stage and I’m super happy.”

The rain falls on the Pyrénées and the break goes early

After one of the hottest Tours in recent years the rain, which has not been seen in any quantity since the crash-stricken stage 2 to Spa, Belgium, returned to the race, falling heavily on the Pyrénées overnight. Although it had stopped by the time the race started the roads were wet and the mountains were shrouded in mist.

A seven-man group escaped the peloton as soon as it left the neutral zone; they were: Juan Antonio Flecha and Edvald Boasson Hagen (both Team Sky), Kristjan Koren (Liquigas-Doimo), Aleksandre Kolobnev (Katusha), Marcus Burghardt (BMC Racing), Remi Pauriol (Cofidis) and Ruben Perez (Euskaltel). The group was allowed to go by the peloton, and crossed the top of the Côte de Renoir, after 13.5km, 2’50” ahead.

After 18km Ignatas Konovalovas (Cervélo TestTeam) attacked and tried to make his way across to the break.

Third place overall Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) crashed at the 24km mark and had to be tended to by the race doctor; the Olympic champion reportedly took a hard blow to the chest and temporarily had problems breathing. He remounted and was paced back to the peloton, which was neutralised by yellow jersey Alberto Contador’s Astana team.

At that moment though, Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam) attacked and tried to join Konovalovas ahead. Sastre soon caught his teammate and the duo set out to catch the seven-rider group ahead.

Sastre set off alone on the 1st Category Col de Marie-Blanque and came within 1’20” of catching the group, but on the descent and the flat section that followed they pulled away from him once more.

Woolly fans disrupt the race as a former winner fades

There was almost a disaster as a flock of sheep crossed the road right in front of the peloton. Although the Astana riders on the front were forced to almost come to a halt, and a number of sheep walked into the middle of the pack behind them, nobody came down.

There was a heavy mist on the Col du Soulor as Burghardt lead the break over the top; Sastre had closed up slightly once again and was just 2’51” behind. The peloton was now beginning to accelerate now though and was just 4’21” in arrears.

Although the roads on the descent were drying considerably, the peloton, lead by Saxo Bank, were taking no risks and the gap began to increase once more; Rabobank riders were moving forward to join Saxo Bank with Astana lurking behind.

As the break passed through Argeles-Gazost at the foot of the descent, Sastre had faded once more and was 4’06” behind, with the peloton at 5’33”.

With 25km to go Sastre was just 30 seconds ahead of the peloton and so he sat up and drifted back into the peloton, which was now lead by Rabobank. Astana took over at the front once more, but Rabobank and Saxo Bank moved past them to retake control; the increasing pace soon dropped Sastre.

The Tourmalet begins and the favourites prepare to do battle

As the climb to the Col du Tourmalet began Gap falling rapidly; Matti Breschel leading for Saxo Bank with a number of Astana riders on his wheel.

Ahead in the breakaway Boasson Hagen was dropped with 16.5km still to climb.

Astana briefly took over the front of the peloton, but Stuart O’Grady came past for Saxo Bank once more, with teammate Fabian Cancellara on his wheel; Lampre were also present near the front on behalf of Damiano Cunego.

Flecha was next to be dropped from the lead group as Kolobnev pushed the pace. The Russian champion gapped all but Burghardt, and the two of them set off together.

As O’Grady pulled over Cancellara took over; Contador was sitting on the wheel of Schleck, waiting for the white jersey to try something.

Cancellara wrung every last ounce of energy out of himself and almost ground to a halt as he pulled over. Chris Anker Sorensen took over and increased the pace once more for Schleck and riders continued to be shelled out of the back.

Suffering from illness since the race hit they Pyrénées, Giro d’Italia winner Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo) was one of the first big names to go; World champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) and Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) were also early casualties of the fierce Saxo Bank pace.

With 13.7km still to climb Kolobnev dropped Burgharst, with the peloton 2’31” behind them and set off to try to win the stage alone.

Astana road captain Alexandre Vinokourov was hanging on to the back of the shrinking peloton but at last was forced to let it go, leaving Daniel Navarro as the only Astana rider left to look after Contador. Jakob Fuglsang, Schleck’s final Saxo Bank teammate, took over as Sorensen pulled over with Matthew Lloyd (OmegaPharma-Lotto) behind him, looking after his captain Jurgen Van Den Broeck.

Most of the top ten clustered together near the front of the peloton; Contador was on the wheel of Schleck, with Joaquin Rodriguez, Denis Menchov and Robert Gesink behind him.

The white jersey strikes and only the yellow jersey responds

With 10km to go Fuglsang had done all he could and Andy Schleck finally put in his attack, but Contador was straight on to his wheel. The two rivals quickly pulled out a lead over the rest of the contenders and flew past Kolobnev, the only remaining member of the breakaway, and the Russian could only watch them go by.

Behind them was a group consisting of Samuel Sanchez, Hesjedal, Chris Horner (RadioShack), Denis Menchov and Robert Gesink (both Rabobank), Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha), Van Den Broeck and Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas-Doimo); with 8km to go they were 45 seconds back, with Gesink doing most of the work on the front on behalf of Menchov.

Schleck continuing to lead, asking for nothing from Contador, but the Spaniard looked comfortable on his wheel; Schleck, in the white jersey, was grinding away in the saddle while Contador, in yellow, was dancing on the pedals behind him.

With 7km to go the lead over the rest was up to 1’01”, but there looked to be no way of separating the pair of them. Schleck got out of the saddle to accelerate, but Contador remained glued to his back wheel.

Behind the leaders Nicolas Roche (AG2R-La Mondiale) was trying to claw his way on to the back of the chasing group.

With 5km to go the leading duo’s lead was up to 1’16”; Schleck got out of the saddle once more, and then again, but he just couldn’t shake Contador.

Just inside 4km Contador finally launched an attack and looked like he may have dropped his rival, but Schleck pulled him steadily back and retook the front. Schleck increased the pace once more in an effort to crack the yellow jersey but to no avail; the gap over the chasing group was steadily increasing as a result though, rising from 1’22” to 1’46” as they approached the final 2km

No gifts? Well only between friends…

Schleck raised the tempo once more in the final 2km as they passed through the crowds of, mostly Spanish, fans but Contador clung to his back wheel like a limpet as they approached the flamme rouge.

They took the final hairpin with 300m to go and Schleck turned his head and they exchanged a few words. The two riders approached the finish side by side and Contador acknowledged the fact that he’d done very little of the pacemaking and let his off-the-bike friend take the win.

Rodriguez attacked the group behind, followed by Hesjedal, and took third place, 1’17” behind them, with the Canadian a few seconds behind him. Sanchez managed to break clear of Menchov to increase his lead over the Russian slightly and give himself a fighting chance of hanging on to the final podium spot in Saturday’s time trial.

The day’s big loser was Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack). Dropped from the peloton when Schleck put in his attack, the American lost 8‘59” and dropped from seventh place overall to 13th; his place in the top ten was taken by Horner, who rose from 14th to 10th.

With Schleck unable to drop Contador, the Spanish rider still leads by that slim 8-second margin. Both riders managed to significantly increase their margin over the rest though, all but ensuring that they will take the first two places in Paris on Sunday. Saturday’s time trial will determine which order they are in.

Result stage 17
1. Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank
2. Alberto Contador (Spa) Team Astana
3. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha @ 1’17”
4. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Transitions @ 1’26”
5. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi @ 1’31”
6. Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank @ 1’40”
7. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank
8. Chris Horner (USA) Team RadioShack @ 1’45”
9. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) OmegaPharma-Lotto @ 1’48”
10. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas-Doimo @ 2’14”

Standings after stage 17
1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Team Astana
2. Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank @ 8s
3. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi @ 3’32”
4. Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank @ 3’53”
5. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) OmegaPharma-Lotto @ 5’27””

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