Contador, Schleck and a Dropped Chain
Just a quick note on Contador’s behavior in the Tour de France when he took advantage of Schleck’s mechanical failure on a mountain stage. Schleck caught Contador napping and managed to break free of the group with only Alexander Vinoukorov managing to keep pace. He was free and clear of the group and riding like a man possessed; it’s hard to say how it would have ended, but it certainly looked like Schleck was about to build on his lead over Contador.
Instead, his chain dropped and clamped between the front sprocket and the crankshaft and he lost precious time freeing it and getting it reset. Contador blew by him and took the advantage for himself and took the Yellow Jersey at the end of the day.
Many think this was very unsportsmanlike and fondly remembered how Jan Ullrich waited for Lance Armstrong when they were both climbing together and Lance was knocked from his bike by a spectator.
I personally think it was poor form for Contador to take advantage of the mechanical failure, but it’s hard to judge in such a high-stakes race where very little separates the two at the top.
However, in his interview immediately following the race, he claimed that he was not aware that Andy had any mechanical problems.
- Did you think he’d stopped to let you catch up?
- Did you think he’d gotten tired and was catching his breath?
- Did you think he’d seen a pretty flower by the side of the road and wanted to get a picture?
What did you think he was doing when he stopped in the middle of the Tour de France just as he was kicking your ass?
That Contador took advantage of a mechanical difficulty in order to gain the yellow jersey does not make him a jackass. That he lies about doing so is what makes him a jackass.
It would have been far better if he had just been a man about it and admitted to what he did. Instead, he lied about it, gained the well-deserved scorn of the biking world and further cemented his reputation as a purely egocentric idiot.
He changed his tune the following day, admitting that he probably shouldn’t have done it. That’s even worse. Be a man, for God’s sake and at least stand for something. He can’t even commit to being an asshole because it hurt his feelings that everyone thought he was a jerk.
Man up, Contador. If you’re going to win races by the skin of your teeth, at least own your strategy and tell people to kiss your ass because now you’ve won the Tour de France three times.
I’m not really enjoying Spain ruling the sports world: we now have a world cup champion that can barely score goals and a Tour de France champion who lies and lies badly.