Contador Tour win celebrated with wrong anthem

27th July 2009, Comments 0 comments

Spaniard Alberto Contador, winner of 2009 Tour de France, was honoured with the Danish national anthem during the ceremony on Champs Elysee.

Madrid – When Alberto Contador stepped up to the podium on Sunday after winning the Tour de France for the second time, the Spanish rider was greeted with a recording of the Danish national anthem due to an embarrassing mistake on the part of organisers.

The 26-year-old took off his cap and stood at attention while the wrong anthem played, looking off to the side at one point and occasionally breaking into a grin, images broadcast on public Spanish television TVE showed.

When the victory ceremony was repeated, this time with the Spanish anthem, the more up-tempo "Royal March" military tune, Contador smiled broadly and held his cap over his heart as he looked ahead.

The television station said Contador, the 2007 Tour champion, himself alerted tour organisers of the error, which it called a "serious mistake".

Spain's secretary of state for sport hailed Alberto Contador's win of the Tour de France on Sunday, saying the 26-year-old had proven himself to be a "real champion".

"I am really happy because Contador won a very difficult Tour and it is the second Tour which he has won," Spanish media quoted Jaime Lissavetzky as saying in Paris where he watched Contador cross the finish line.

"He fought under conditions which were not the most adequate to face a race such as this one. For this reason I feel enormous satisfaction, it is not just a question of legs but also of mind and Contador was a real champion," he added.

Contador, the winner of the 2007 Tour, was locked into a duel with his Astana team-mate Lance Armstrong, a seven-time champion, for much of the race, raising tensions between the two.

He took control of the Tour in the final week in the Alps leading to a fourth straight win of the cycling race by a Spaniard.

Oscar Pereiro won the Tour in 2006 and Carlos Sastre emerged as the winner in 2008.

Several hundred people watched Contador win the 2009 Tour in his hometown of Pinto, south of Madrid, on a large television screen set up outdoors by local officials.

The cyclists are welcomed back to Madrid on Monday by the president of the Madrid regional government, Esperanza Aguirre, before heading to Pinto where a celebration is planned.

AFP / Expatica

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