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Old 07-29-2007, 05:44 PM   #1
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Contador Wins Le Tour

not that anyone cares, but a rider for the Discovery Channel team won. 24 years old too...that is young, lets hope we arent reading in a month about him getting busted for EPO/Transfusions/Doping/Steriods/Jack Daniels (suuuure floyd, it was the Jack)

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200....ap/index.html

Quote:
PARIS (AP) -- Alberto Contador won the doping-scarred Tour de France on Sunday, a new, young and unlikely winner for the three-week race shaken to its core by scandals.

The 24-year-old rider for the American Discovery Channel team was the youngest champion since Jan Ullrich of Germany in 1997. He also was the first Spaniard to win the crown since the last of Miguel Indurain's five titles in 1995.

His margin of victory -- just 23 seconds ahead of Cadel Evans of Australia -- was the second-narrowest in the Tour's 104-year history, after 2,200 miles of racing through Britain, Belgium, Spain and France.

"It's an extraordinary joy," said Contador, who kissed his winner's yellow jersey on the podium and thrust his arms ecstatically, the Arc de Triomphe in the background. Outside the Discovery team bus, staffers uncorked champagne.

"I think we've seen the future of Spanish cycling and perhaps international cycling," seven-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong said.

Another Discovery Channel rider, Levi Leipheimer of the United States, finished third, 31 seconds behind.

Contador, speaking through a translator, called his victory a "dream come true." In 2004, he suffered a brain aneurism while racing in Spain and collapsed with convulsions. He had surgery within hours, which doctors said prevented irreversible brain damage. They cited a congenital problem with a brain artery.

While in the hospital, Contador drew inspiration from a book about Armstrong, who survived testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain.

Asked on French television about his brain surgery, Contador took off his yellow helmet and showed a large scar running down the side of his head.

"It really marked me for life," Contador said, "but allowed me to better savor this moment."

Contador had seemed destined for second place until the Tour was hit by a bombshell just five days from the finish: the ouster of race leader Michael Rasmussen. His Rabobank team accused the Dane of having lied about his whereabouts before the Tour to evade doping controls.

Discovery sports manager Johan Bruyneel, who mentored Armstrong's seven wins, did not have a "nice feeling" after this victory.

"You don't want to win like that," Bruyneel told The Associated Press. "The way things were, most likely he (Rasmussen) would have won the Tour de France."
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