“El Pistolero Is Strong, Huh?”

22 Jul

Stage 17 write-up to follow, first read Andy Schleck’s comments on Stage 17 – Love the guy!

From LeTour:  http://www.letour.fr/

Andy Schleck – “El Pistolero is strong, huh?”Only eight seconds separate first from second overall after 17 stages of the Tour de France. The climb up the col du Tourmalet was the platform for the best young rider to become the best in the Tour. Andy Schleck won the stage but Alberto Contador is winning the battle for the yellow jersey.

“I’m satisfied with the stage win but I also wanted to turn white into yellow but unfortunately it wasn’t possible. I really tried hard, you have to believe me about that. I changed rhythm and I tried everything but I think we’re on the same level on the climbs. Alberto attacked and I could go with him – it was a quick response – but in the end he didn’t sprint to win the stage because I did the most work. I have a lot of respect for that, it shows that he’s a great champion.

“I tried to find out how he was feeling. You need to look at someone to see how he was coping. I think you can find out a lot if you look someone in the eyes. He didn’t have the sunglasses on today so it was possible to see, that’s why I looked so many times. But he always looked good and that’s kind of what killed me.

“El Pistolero is strong, huh? I could no drop him. He was always there. I wanted to find out if he was getting weak but he didn’t succumb. He even attacked me to show, ‘Hey, listen young boy, I’m still here! You better stop playing these games with me.’

“I’m super happy to win this stage today – it’s the Queen stage of this year’s Tour. To win on the Tourmalet is like a win on Alpe d’Huez.

“When I turned to talk to him, I said: ‘You pass?’ And he didn’t. I would have done the same. Why should he pass me? In the end, he let me win the stage and I’m super happy.”

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