Carlos Sastre has hit out at those riders in the Tour de France who want to control the actions of others in the race saying that "we're turning cycling into a sport for spoilt brats".
The Spanish 2008 Tour de France champion's bold statement comes after Thursday's stage 17 to the Col du Tourmalet. During the stage, race leader Alberto Contador (Astana) tried to persuade Sastre, 35, not to launch an attack whilst Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel) recovered from a crash behind the bunch.
Sastre's Cervelo team-mate Ignatas Konovalovas had already gone up the road to try and catch a seven-man escape group, and Sastre had committed to following him when Sanchez - currently third overall - crashed and winded himself.
"When I was starting [the attack], Alberto Contador came to tell me that there had been a fall behind. I answered him that all that seemed well and good, but at the time I had a team mate up in front," wrote Sastre in his blog.
"They stopped and then when I reached the finish line they told me who had taken a fall".
"Whoever wants to start debating or raising controversy about this matter can do so freely. I've fallen in this Tour, I fell in the Italian Giro, I've had technical problems and no one ever waited for me," continued Sastre.
"I think we're turning cycling into a sport for spoilt brats and that is what happens in these kinds of circumstances".
In the event, Sastre's effort to catch the break didn't bear fruit, and he ploughed a lonely furrow, eventually getting caught before reaching the base of the Col du Tourmalet.
Contador himself was at the sharp end of a lot of criticism earlier this week when he failed to wait for then race leader Andy Schleck when the Saxo Bank rider's chain slipped off on the final climb of stage 15. Contador, Sanchez and Denis Menchov appeared to ignore Schleck's problems and sped off up the mountain. When Schleck sorted out his chain, he could not catch the trio and lost valuable time.
The controversial move gave Contador the race lead, but he was booed by spectators when on the podium receiving the yellow jersey after the stage and later made a video apology to Schleck for his perceived lapse in fair play.
At the end of Thursday's stage 17, Contador held back and did not attack Schleck during the stage's finale. The Luxembourger took his second stage win of the 2010 Tour.
Sastre currently sits in 21st place overall, 25'50" adrift of race leader Contador. The 2010 Tour de France concludes in Paris on Sunday, July 25.
Tour de France 2010: Latest news
Schleck behind after Tourmalet duel but refuses to give up
Hesjedal leaps up classification with Tour's Tourmalet ride
Sky pushes ahead regardless of Wiggins placing
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
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