Luxembourg’s Andy Schleck topped the Tour de France’s Col du Tourmalet for the stage win today, but he still trails in the overall standing to Spain’s Alberto Contador by eight seconds. Only three days and a long time trial remain for Schleck to win the Tour, but he refuses to give in.

“I can see the yellow jersey in front of me,” team Saxo Bank’s Schleck said. “I really want it and I am not going to give up until Paris.”

They covered the last of this year’s mountain stage today, ending with a head-to-head duel on one of the Tour’s legendary climbs. Problem is, though, Schleck did not take the overall lead from Contador today. He said himself yesterday that whoever is in the yellow jersey tonight will win the Tour de France Sunday in Paris.

“I changed my mind when I crossed the line,” Schleck continued, adding a smile to the gathered journalists on the cold climb. “We will see in the time trial on Saturday.”

They say the yellow jersey gives you wings. Contador proved that last year when he not only defended his lead in the final 40.5-kilometre time trial, but also won it by three seconds ahead of Fabian Cancellara and 1’45” ahead of Schleck.

Contador will gain confidence for Saturday’s 52-kilometre ride also from his ride in Rotterdam on the first day, three weeks ago. He finished the 8.9-kilometre ride 27 seconds behind winner Fabian Cancellara and 42 seconds ahead of Schleck.

“It will be a benefit to start last in the time trial,” Contador said. “It gives you the advantage of knowing the time references. The key was to not lose time today.”

If Contador defeats Schleck at the time trial on Saturday, he will have locked in his third Tour de France victory, adding to 2007 and 2009.

Tour de France 2010: Latest news

Armstrong has his last go in the Tour

Tour’s points leader Petacchi investigated for doping

Contador issues video apology to Schleck

Millar searches horizon for Eiffel Tower

Schleck-Contador friendship turns sour after chain problem

Wiggins at 2010 Tour: “I haven’t got it”

Basso wins Tour’s acceptance; podium spot next goal

Contador versus Schleck: A game of seconds

Can Cav win without Renshaw?

Hesjedal pushing his way to the Tour’s top

Renshaw disqualification overshadows Cavendish’s win

Charly Wegelius pulls out of Tour

Did Armstrong own a stake in Tailwind Sports, or not?

Cavendish in a ‘must win’ situation for Tour’s green jersey

Millar rides through pain barrier to make time cut

Roche alongside Tour’s top men ahead of Pyrenees

Wiggins to aim for Tour de France stage win?

Dan Lloyd battles on in Tour despite groin strain

Tour de France 2010: Stage reports

Stage 17: Schleck wins on the Tourmalet but cannot shake off Contador

Rest day review (July 21)

Stage 16: Fedrigo takes tough Pyrenean stage

Stage 15: Victorious Voeckler continues fine Franch Tour as Contador takes yellow jersey

Stage 14: Riblon hangs on in Pyrenees to give France fourth stage win

Stage 13: Vino returns to top of Tour after doping ban

Stage 12: Rodriguez wins as Contador attacks

Stage 11: Cavendish bags third stage win but lead out man kicked out of Tour

Stage 10: Cavendish bags third stage win but his lead-out man is kicked out of race

Stage 10: Paulinho claims narrow stage victory on Bastille day

Stage nine: Casar wins stage as Schleck and Contador go head-to-head

Stage seven: Chavanel wins stage and takes overall as Thomas drops out of Tour’s white

Stage six: Cavendish makes it two as Tour hots up

Stage five: Cavendish wins his first stage of Tour

Stage four: Petacchi wins into Reims

Stage three: Hushovd takes dramatic win; Thomas second on stage and GC

Stage three live coverage: As it happened

Stage two: Comeback man Chavanel takes victory in Spa

Stage one: Petacchi wins in Brussels as bunch left in tatters

Prologue: Cancellara pips Martin to win

Tour de France 2010: Photos

Stage 15 photo gallery

Stage 14 photo gallery

Stage 13 photo gallery

Stage 12 photo gallery

Stage 11 photo gallery

Stage 10 photo gallery

Stage nine photo gallery

Stage eight photo gallery

Tour 2010 wallpaper

Stage seven photo gallery

Stage six photo gallery

Stage five photo gallery

Stage four photo gallery

Stage three photo gallery

Stage two photo gallery

Stage one gallery

Prologue photo gallery

Tour de France 2010: Videos

Stage 16 video highlights

Stage 15 video highlights

Stage 14 video highlights

Stage 13 video highlights

Stage 12 video highlights

Stage 11 video highlights

Stage 10 video highlights

Stage nine video highlights

Stage eight video highlights

Stage seven video highlights

Stage six video highlights

Stage five video highlights

Stage four video highlights

Stage three video highlights

Stage two video highlights

Stage one video highlights

Prologue video highlights

Tour de France 2010: Race guide

Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

Official start list, with race numbers

Brits at the Tour 2010

Tout team guide

Tour jerseys: What they are and what they mean

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins

Tour de France 2010: Pictures

Tour team presentation, Rotterdam

Tour teams take to the cobbles: Photo special


  • Brian

    @hovis: yes I actually ride my bike and I even grew up in Pau! When you have a big mouth little Schleck you should not complain of being teased when you fail. It is Schleck who announced for days a big firework in the Tourmalet, no one else. I am not disappointed that he failed, simply amused. I think nowadays the so-called ‘big stars’ of the sport talk much more than they race their bikes. Grande Carlos Sastre!

  • Cavologuardi

    Hovis, I defer to your better knowledge… I struggle up Totti Road never mind the Tourmalet… but… I am a rider nevertheless… and I am a devoted fan of road cycle racing… and I have been since the 80s.

    Remember how Roche looked after his chase after Delgado up La Plagne? I was fifteen years old when I saw that and it left an impression. As a fan… and I claim to be nothing more… that’s the kind of effort I was hoping for (but not expecting) from Baby Schleck.

    We all know Bert is gonna wee all over him in the ITT. It was Andy that needed to make the time up… it was Andy that was bigging himself up to the media… it is Andy that still thinks he’s a better climber than Bert… it is Andy that will not win this year’s Tour.

  • Hadyn Bosher @ 77in Thailand

    “Giants of the Road”,Duffield would always go on about when commentating on the Tour.With all the moaning and bickering this year it’s hardly what you would expect from Giants!!!Has the charisma of the tour faded.i believe it has i’m sorry to say.

  • JB

    I think you’re all being very harsh on the 2 leaders (OK, on AS) whether Contador turns out to be the stronger of the pair (and, short of some sort of miracle, he already has) one thing is clear; these 2 guys are streets ahead of everyone else in the race. I challenge anyone who’s calling AS some sort of whinging softie to even think about the prospect of riding away from the best of the professional peleton up mountains. Again and again and again over the last 2 weeks these 2 have done just that.

    I look forward to their rivalry continuing for years to come

  • hovis

    Do any of you self-professed experts actually ride bikes? Have any of you been up the Tourmalet? Do you have one iota of understanding about what Schleck was attempting and failing to do and the effort he was putting into it? If you don’t get fireworks you resort to criticising the riders. I’m starting to agree with Cav on this one – forums and stuff get dominated by people who don’t know jack about what it takes to win a bike race but want to tell everyone what they think. Are you really suggesting he couldn’t be bothered or doesn’t know how to suffer. The guy rode the whole hill on the limit, matched AC’s power attack, but couldn’t break the worthy spaniard. Just ‘cos he didn’t sweat blood your disappointed.

  • Brian

    @Cavologuardi: No it was not just you. The revenge battle so long announced by baby Schleck was pathetic. Though Contador was right to save his energy fot the iTT. But watch out, baby ‘wanabe yellow jersey’ said it is not over yet. Vive Le Tour ?

  • borderfox

    big wow you won a stage that alberto gifted 2 you, as for the stare well ask your self this andy who`s got the yellow jersey?

  • Cavologuardi

    Once upon a time, when we were naughty little school kids, my school chums and I clubbed together to buy some fireworks, including an air bomb repeater called a ‘Five Star’ (well, ’twas the 80s). Some bright spark came up with the idea of dropping it in the bottle bank at the local shopping precinct – ho, ho, you can imagine our giddy anticipation – five big bangs hugely amplified – it was going to be ACE! Shame then that the bloody thing didn’t go off – our early teen impishness ruined. And an expensive lesson learned.

    Was it just me, or did today feel a little like that? I was almost hyperventilating with excitement when the final selection was made on the lower slopes – then… nada. Baby Schleck didn’t seem too downhearted at the end… he should have been absolutely gutted! Baby Schleck the new Poulidor? I suspect so. Bert is ruthless… he’s a WINNER! And he’s gonna win le Grand Boucle every year for at least the next five years!

    p.s. if I catch any of my kids playing with fireworks, I’ll, er, I’ll, er, I’ll cancel their subscription to The Comic… that’s what I’ll do!

  • Tarquin Snowball

    Did Schleck blow it today, were his tactics wrong or was Contador too good. Did he miss the opportunity to attack after Contador failed too lose him. Initially I thought Andy had ridden as well as he could but maybe less eyeballing more aggression.