Froome miffed at Contador after Spaniard falls and he nearly crashes on descent into Gap
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Froome miffed at Contador after Spaniard falls and he nearly crashes on descent into Gap

by VeloNation Press at 1:00 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
“I just think at this stage of the race, he is obviously getting desperate”

Chris FroomeIt wasn’t quite the Joseba Beloki-Lance Armstrong incident of ten years ago, but on the same descent of the Col de Manse a Spaniard fell and once again the Maillot Jaune had to take evasive action.

Fortunately today’s drama involving Alberto Contador and Chris Froome was far less serious, although Contador scuffed his knee and Froome had to roll off road to remain upright. The moment happened inside the final eight kilometres, and came after Contador had pushed hard on the climb and then raced hard down the other side, seeking to open an advantage.

Froome is known for being mild mannered, but was clearly irked at the finish. “I think it was actually a bit careless of Contador and Kreuziger, they were really pushing the limits on the descent in trying to attack us,” he said in the post race TV interview.

“Alberto overcooked one of the corners and came off in front of me. He just took himself down. I nearly went over him. I had to get around him and went off the road a little bit. I didn’t come off but I just had to unclip and get myself straightened up again and rejoin the race.”

The Tour de France is in its final week and with Paris approaching, Contador is doing everything he can to overcome his four minute 25 second deficit and move from third to first overall.

The odds are stacked against him due to the considerable lead Froome has amassed, but he will take encouragement from the gaps he was able to temporarily open on the final climb. While Richie Porte (Sky) was able to bring Froome back twice – on the third occasion Froome closed the gap after Porte was temporarily dropped – the Spaniard appears to be gaining strength compared to his form earlier in the Tour.

The elastic stretched but didn’t snap on the climb. The fast descent was another effort to get clear, and one that didn’t impress Froome. “I just think at this stage of the race, he is obviously getting desperate,” he said. “They are attacking on us on the descents and attacking us on the climbs. I just think it was careless to ride like that.”

He added that he considered it possible that Contador is also trying to get time back on Bauke Mollema (Belkin), who is just eleven seconds ahead of him in second overall.

Froome is aware that there is plenty of action in the days ahead and knows that he needs to be both attentive and strong.

“We've got a really big day tomorrow with the time trial. Following that we've got another three really hard days so there's going to be some exciting racing coming up.”

He is four minutes fourteen seconds ahead of Mollema, his closest challenger.

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