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"That's what happens in cycling and not important at all. It was nothing, just the circumstance sof the race," Contador says of sarcastic thumbs-up

Photo: Sirotti




16.07.2013 @ 20:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) tried to attack Chris Froome on the descent from the Col de Manse in today's 16th stage of the Tour de France but it all came to nothing when he crashed. Afterwards, he signalled his dissatisfaction to Nairo Quintana (Movistar) who had refused to wait for the Spaniard but now plays down the situation.


In 2011, Alberto Contador went on the attack on Col de Manse and managed to drop the Schleck brothers on the ascent before extending his advantage on the very technical descent. With that previous succesS fresh in mind, he used the same battleground to try to shake Chris Froome in today's 16th ground.


Despite three accelerations on the climb, the race leader was never troubled and so Contador had to try on the descent. He raced very aggressively through the corners but the Sky leader was always in his wheel.


Suddenly, the Spaniard took a corner too fast and hit the deck as a consequence. Froome was forced to go off the road as he tried to avoid his rival and that saw the two stars lose ground.


Froome's teammate Richie Porte dropped back to help his captain and managed to bring back both Froome and Contador. However, Movistar had continued to drive the group as Laurens Ten Dam (Belkin) had fallen behind and so Nairo Quintana wanted to gain as much time as possible to move up to 5th on GC.


Having returned to the group, Contador made a sarcastic thumbs-up to the Colombian to signal his dissatisfaction. The Spaniard had preferred the Movistar riders to wait for him after his tumble.


Afterwards, he played down the situation.


"That's what happens in cycling and not important at all," he said. "It was nothing, just the circumstances of the race. This is simply cycling. Today we tried and in the end a Belkin rider was dropped and another (Bauke Mollema, ed.) was in trouble. Now I just hope that the only consequence of the crash will be that I sleep a little worse as tomorrow could be an important day.”



Contador was left with a bruised knee and elbow and hoped the consequences would not be too serious.


 “I hope it's only superficial," he said. "Now I put ice on the injuries and then I think I´ll be fine for tomorrow."


Contador may not have taken back time on Froome but he hoped to have produced an exciting race.


"All have been very attentive and I have not been able to make a difference but the legs are getting better and I hope I can create some spectacle," he said. "I don’t know if we'll win or not, but I hope the people behind the TV will enjoy.”


On the rest day, Contador told reporters that he had singled out a stage to make a big attack but he would not reveal which one. He denied that he had referred to today's transitional stage.

"This is not the stage I referred to yesterday, it is another one,” he said. "I don't get motivated by following wheels in the bunch. Whenever I see that there is a chance, I'll try to do something, either at the beginning or at the end of the race. And we'll see which result we get in Paris."


Contador faces an important test in tomorrow's very hilly time trial where he hopes to limit his losses to Froome. Starting at 10.30, you can follow the entire stage on



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