Tour de France: Armstrong renews row with Contador

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The Independent Online

Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong are sniping at each other again, following a fragile truce during the Tour de France.

Contador, who secured his second Tour win on Sunday in Paris, said he had no admiration for the American as a person and that tensions between the two had a negative effect on the Astana team during the race. Armstrong, the seven-time champion who finished third in his first Tour since 2005, responded that Contador should "drop this drivel".

"My relationship with Lance Armstrong is zero," Contador said from his home town of Pinto outside Madrid. "He's a great rider and he did a great Tour. Another thing is on a personal level, where I have never admired him and never will."

Armstrong, who had criticised Contador as being inexperienced earlier this year, responded with his own salvo on Twitter. "Hey pistolero, there is no 'I' in 'team'. what did I say in March? Lots to learn. Restated," he wrote.

The "pistolero" remark stems from Contador's habit of celebrating victories by shooting an imaginary pistol.

"Seeing these comments from AC [Contador]. If I were him I'd drop this drivel and start thanking his team," Armstrong added. "A champion is also measured on how much he respect his team-mates and opponents."

Contador and Armstrong entered this year's Tour jousting for position as the Astana team leader – an unusual situation in cycling, where team's normally have a clear No 1 rider who is supported by the rest of the squad.

While Armstrong briefly held a slight edge over the Spaniard in the first week, Contador proved too strong in the mountains and was able to pull away decisively in the Alps.

On a couple of occasions, Armstrong questioned Contador's tactics during the race, saying they went against the good of the team.

"It was a tense situation," said Contador. "We didn't have fluid communication despite the fact that we were the two main riders. And this meant the rest of the cyclists and the technical staff also felt a bit of tension."

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