Stage 17 of the Tour de France saw the two strongest riders stamping their authority on the sport and probably indicating that in the next few years we will have another epic battle between two riders. I can say that in hindsight after watching the TT stage that Andy definitely has a bright future ahead of him, as most forget he is still in the white jersey and a youngster. Is it fair to put so much pressure on him?
It was not for lack of effort that Shleck the younger did not pull out time. Apparently he attacked 14 times over the final ascent of the Tourmalet. It did not look like it on the TV but there were digs going on all the way up and probably the reason for Contador only attacking once.
Pistarello or however he is called with his silly finger banger winning salute put in one big dig. He rode to his most defensive Tour victory. Andy quickly closed the gap and they stayed that way till the end.
Andy gave a look or two in the heat of battle and words were said between the two. It was all in vain as Contador remained calm and sat on the wheel. He is not easily dropped on a climb and protected his position well knowing that his TT would seal the deal. But it was not all smooth sailing in the TT as Shleck the Younger is showing an ever greater aptitude against the clock and may make the three time champ think twice in the next Tour before going into in with an 8 second lead.
A day's work done. Shleck knowing he hadn't done enough to win the Tour unless something drastic happened on the TT. Contador content to gift the stage and become only the third rider to win the Tour de France without winning a stage. My favourtie picture of this battle though is that through all the media bullshit of trying to build a wall between these two friends they battle on the bike and probably have a beer afterward.
Shleck the Younger. White this year for best young rider and someone Contador will be constantly looking over his shoulder for.