Placing second in the Tour de France two years running has incited the need for vengeance in Andy Schleck. The Luxembourg rider is shooting for victory this year against Spaniard Alberto Contador, who edged him out to win the bike race in 2009 and 2010.
Last summer, Contador gained a 39-second lead over Schleck after failing to follow unwritten cycling etiquette: Schleck’s bike chain fell off on a steep hill in the Pyrenees and Contador did not stop to wait for him. Of the incident, Schleck said this week, “A great champion doesn’t do things like this. I really was disappointed by his attitude that day.”
While many cycling enthusiasts are questioning Contador’s entry in this year’s race after testing positive for anabolic steroids during the 2010 Tour, Schleck is happy to get another chance to beat his rival. “I’m looking forward to beating him on the road, I want this challenge, I want this head-to-head,” said the 26-year old.
Contador, meanwhile, who faces being stripped of his medals dating up to July 2010 if the Court of Arbitration for Sport rules against him, is not worried about Shleck’s thirst for victory or any disciplinary action.
"If I think they can take the victory from me? I am confident in the decision that will be taken after the Tour. I think it would be completely ridiculous," Contador said. "From the beginning of the season, I am surely the most tested rider and winning almost every race I am taking part in."
The 98th Tour de France begins this Saturday.
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