Reuters

Cycling-Schleck and Contador end chain slip dispute

Tue, 20 Jul 18:49:00 2010

* Contador says he regrets the way he seized yellow jersey

* Schleck says all is well and urges fans to stop booing (releads after 16th stage, adds Schleck quotes)

Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck buried the hatchet on Tuesday after the Spaniard expressed regret at snatching the Tour de France yellow jersey by benefitting from his rival's mechanical problem.

Schleck's chain slip in Monday's 15th stage allowed Contador to gain 39 seconds and take an eight-second lead, which he still holds. The Luxembourg rider felt afterwards Contador should have waited for him but on Tuesday drew a line under the incident.

"Stop now, for Alberto and for me," Schleck asked fans on French television after the defending champion was booed by a section of the crowd while he was on the podium after the 16th stage to Pau.

"We discussed it during the stage and all is well between us now."

In Monday's stage to Bagneres de Luchon, Schleck attacked in the ascent to the Port de Bales and Contador had begun his counter-attack when the Saxo Bank rider's chain came off. He went past him and crossed the line ahead of him.

The Spaniard earlier expressed regret over the incident.

"There is a problem with the circumstances," the Astana rider said in a statement.

"The race was on and maybe I made a mistake. I'm sorry. I'm disappointed in the sense that for me fair play is very important, as I did in the stage of Spa."

In the second stage between Brussels and Spa, the peloton stopped to wait after Schleck crashed on slippery roads.

"I can't complain. I could already have lost the Tour in Spa," Schleck said. (Editing by Sonia Oxley; To comment on this story: sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

 

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