Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Andy's Cool as Rival Closes

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Andy's Cool as Rival Closes

Article excerpt

ANDY SCHLECK remained calm after Tour de France rival Alberto Contador trimmed his yellow jersey advantage yesterday.

Schleck (Team Saxo Bank) holds a 31-second lead over Contador (Astana), who is seeking a third Tour title in four years, after conceding 10 seconds on yesterday's 210.5-kilometre 12th stage from Bourg-de-Peage to Mende.

"He only gained 10 seconds," said Schleck.

"Even if I lost the yellow jersey, it's OK.

"I would not really have cared because I am still only aiming to have the yellow jersey in Paris (on July 25)."

Contador exploded halfway up the fifth and final climb of the day, the 3.1km category two ascent of the Montee Laurent Jalabert, so named after the Frenchman's famous Bastille Day win in 1995.

The Spaniard caught and overtook his Astana team-mate Alexandre Vinokourov, who had accelerated out of the day's break, and was joined by Joaquin Rodriguez.

Rodriguez won in a sprint finish, but Contador clawed back a potentially crucial 10 seconds from Schleck (Team Saxo Bank) as the Tour heads towards the Pyrenees, beginning with today's 196km 13th stage from Rodez to Revel. …

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