Spaniard Contador lost 33 seconds when the group of favourites, including his helper, rode clear to Le Lioran. He now sits 1-21 behind the other stars. Sports Director Steven De Jongh said that he told his rider four times to wait and told him after the stage to follow the orders when he gives them.
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“The situation is cleared up,” Sports Director Sean Yates explained. “There was a miscommunication that was a bit of this and that. It’s been talked about and dealt with. I’m confident that that won’t happen again if the order is to wait.”
Yates also ordered Chris Froome to wait for Bradley Wiggins in the 2012 Tour stage to La Toussuire when he worked for team Sky. Asked if it was a similar situation to four years ago, Yates said that there are no problems.
Contador crashed on his right side in stage one and on his left in stage two. He is struggling to find form as the race enters the high Pyrenean mountains. That pain showed two days ago.
“The team orders were clear, and his decision was something else,” Contador said of Kreuziger. “That’s the reality. The team tactics weren’t the problem, it was that Kreuziger acted on his own. We’ve talked about it, and we’ll turn the page on the misunderstanding. We’ll see how far we can get in this Tour.”
Team Tinkoff is folding at the end of the year and Contador, winner of the 2007 and 2009 Tour, will leave for team Trek-Segafredo say sources. Other riders, like Kreuziger, must make sure that they have a contract for 2017.
“The unity’s fine,” added Yates. “We are all humans and sometimes there are disagreements and life goes on. It’s not the end of the world and we are all adults, so we just deal with it and get on it with.”