Alberto Contador All But Clinches Tour de France In Wild 17th Stage

July 23, 2010 – 2:09 am by Ryan Phillips

If you read the Tour de France post from yesterday you know we’re not exactly big fans of Spain’s Alberto Contador. Well, sadly, despite the fact that second-place rider Andy Schleck won the 17th stage, he failed to gain any time on Contador with just three stages remaining.

Schleck’s only chance to gain any real ground on Contador – who holds an eight second advantage – will be during Saturday’s individual time trial. But Contador is one of the best time trial riders in the world, so it’s highly unlikely that Schleck will pass him.

So it looks like we’re stuck with yet another year of Contador winning the Tour de France with Schleck coming in second. This is starting to look a lot like the stretch where Lance Armstrong edged Jan Ullrich three times in four years.

Yesterday’s 17th stage was a phenomenal testament to the abilities of both Schleck and Contador, as they went toe-to-toe up the steep slopes of the Pyrenees in the 2010 Tour’s final mountain stage.

It was an eventful climb for the rest of the riders as well. The competitors ranged up the picturesque mountain stage through and eerie fog bank that enveloped the course. Then, on the second climb of the day, the peloton (the main group of riders) was disrupted by a group of sheep that crossed the road just ahead of the riders.

It was a memorable stage to say the least.

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