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Page last updated at 08:37 GMT, Tuesday, 20 July 2010 09:37 UK

Alberto Contador 'sorry' for Andy Schleck slip

Tour de France 2010
Start: 3 July, Rotterdam Finish: 25 July, Paris
Coverage: Listen to the final hour of every stage on the BBC Sport website (UK only), with selected stages on BBC 5 live sports extra ; Watch live on Eurosport and ITV4; Live text commentary each day on BBC Sport website

Andy Schleck (yellow) is chased by Alberto Contador
Schleck (in yellow) is chased by Contador before having a mechanical failure

Alberto Contador has apologised after he took advantage of Andy Schleck's mechanical failure to take the leaders yellow jersey in the Tour de France.

Schleck's chain jammed his wheel on the final climb of stage 15, allowing Contador to overturn a 31-second deficit and lead by eight seconds.

An angry Schleck claimed it was against race etiquette to profit in this way.

And Contador explained: "The race was in full gear and, well, maybe I made a mistake. I'm sorry."

Cycling etiquette says that riders should not attack the yellow jersey wearer when he falls or suffers a mechanical problem.

But Contador, 27, claimed after the race he had not seen Schleck's mechanical incident.

However, after being booed by the local crowd while on the podium at the end of stage 15, the two-time Tour winner made the apology in a video on Youtube.

606: DEBATE
chrischets

"Today I managed to get on the podium, which makes me happy," said Contador.

"The problem with that was the circumstances. Right when I attacked Andy had a mechanical on the last climb.

"At a time like that all you think about is riding as fast as you can. I'm not happy, in the sense that, to me, fair play is very important.

"The kind of thing that happened today is not something I like, it's not my style and I hope my relationship with Andy will remain as good as before."

Saxo Bank rider Schleck had reacted furiously to Contador's antics after the stage and vowed to "get revenge" on his Astana rival in Tuesday's 199.5km 16th stage from Bagneres-de-Luchon to Pau.

"I've got fire in my belly," said Schleck.

"The race is not finished, and I will take my revenge in the next days."

The 25-year-old Schleck, was among a group of riders who crashed on the second stage from Brussels to Spa, when the peloton controversially waited.

He added: "These guys waited in Spa when I crashed, so that was fair. Today is a different story.

"I would not have raced like that and taken advantage of that situation. For sure these guys don't get the fair play prize today."


Stage 15 results:

1. Thomas Voeckler (Fra/Bbox-Bouygues) 4h 44 min 52 sec
2. Alessandro Ballan (Italy/BMC Racing) ) +1'20"
3. Aitor Perez (Spain/Footon) same time
4. Lloyd Mondory (France / AG2R) +2:50"
5. Luke Roberts (Australia / Milram) same time
6. Francesco Reda (Italy / Quick-Step) same time
7. Alberto Contador (Spain / Astana) same time
8. Samuel Sanchez (Spain / Euskaltel) same time
9. Denis Menchov (Russia / Rabobank) same time
10. Brian Vandborg (Denmark / Liquigas) same time

Overall standings:

1. Alberto Contador (Spa/Astana) 72hrs 50mins 40secs"
2. Andy Schleck (Luxembourg/Saxo Bank) +8"
3. Samuel Sanchez (Spain/Euskaltel) +2'00
4. Denis Menchov (Rus/ Rabobank)+2'13"
5. Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel / Omega Pharma-Lotto) +3'39"
6. Robert Gesink (Ned / Rabobank) +5'01"
7. Levi Leipheimer (US / RadioShack) +5'25"
8. Joaquin Oliver Rodriguez (Spa/ Katusha) +5'45"
9. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz / Astana) +7'12"
10. Ryder Hesjedal (Can / Garmin) +7'51"

Selected others:

16. Thomas Lovkvist (Swe/ Sky) +12'09"
17. Nicolas Roche (Ire/ AG2R) +12'34"
22. Cadel Evans (Aus/ BMC) +16'16"
23. Bradley Wiggins (GB / Sky) +17'44"
31. Lance Armstrong (US / Radioshack) +40'31"
72. Geraint Thomas (GB / Sky) +1h 33'12"
149. Stephen Cummings (GB / Sky) +2h 47'18"
151. Mark Cavendish (GB / HTC-Columbia) +2h 49'43"
157. David Millar (GB / Garmin) +2h 57'19"
163. Daniel Lloyd (GB / Cervelo) +2h 59'45"
166. Jeremy Hunt (GB / Cervelo) +3h 01'58"



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see also
Contador exploits Schleck mishap
19 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Riblon wins first Pyrenees stage
18 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Wiggins fumes at 'mediocre' form
19 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Tour de France day by day
04 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Tour de France 2010 guide
02 Jul 10 |  Cycling


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