Contador hits out at Armstrong

28th July 2009, Comments 0 comments

2009 Tour winner expresses tense relationship throughout race with team-mate champion Armstrong who came third in the race.

Madrid -- Tour de France winner Alberto Contador on Monday launched a stinging attack on team-mate Lance Armstrong, saying relations between the two were tense throughout the race.

"My relationship with Lance is non-existent. Even if he is a great champion, I have never had admiration for him and I never will," the Spaniard told a news conference in Madrid.

Contador won the Tour on Sunday with a comfortable lead over his rivals. His Astana team-mate Armstrong, a seven-time Tour de France champion who came out of retirement for the 2009 event, came third.

"It was a delicate situation, tense, the two riders who had most weight on the team did not have an easy relationship and that puts the rest of the technical staff and the riders in an uncomfortable position," said the 26-year-old Contador, who also won the Tour in 2007.

He compared their relationship to that of Formula One drivers Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton during their contentious season at McLaren in 2007.

But "we knew that if we kept cool heads, there would be no big problem," he said.

He also described as an "enormous blunder" the playing of the Danish national anthem when the Spaniard stepped up to the podium on the Champs Elysees on Sunday.

Contador was feted later on Monday by hundreds of supporters in his native town of Pinto near Madrid, where he waved his yellow jersey from a balcony to the sound of the Spanish national anthem.

AFP / Expatica

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