Video: Andy Schleck loses his chain

Bad luck for Andy Schleck: He’s powering up the hill at Port de Balès with Alberto Contador right on his tail when Schleck loses his chain and blurts a bad word. Contador takes advantage of the mechanical to pass and put 40 seconds between himself and Schleck.

(Spoiler below…)

The chain fail cost Schleck the yellow jersey today. Many people say that Contador was untraditional and unsportsmanlike by taking advantage of Schleck’s misfortune. I’m not sure how A/C was supposed to know that Schleck had a mechanical problem like that.

Your thoughts?


  • Ericdano
    July 19, 2010 - 10:19 am | Permalink

    When Lance fell….Ulrich slowed and waited. That is what Alberto should have done. And Alberto was BEHIND Andy. This is no way to win in the Tour. Alberto is tainting the sport.

  • July 19, 2010 - 10:44 am | Permalink

    team radio told him yo Shleck got issues bomb up that hill. Contador is in it for himself. I guess however in his defense it's part of the sport, we rely on machines, they fail, we move on.

  • Gussy
    July 19, 2010 - 11:03 am | Permalink

    Really, i don't see the fuss. In F1 they don't stop if someone has a machine break down. Your in it to win it. It is still going to be a close TdF.

  • Dwabra
    July 19, 2010 - 11:14 am | Permalink

    First off, this isn't F1. Rules of the peloton are you wait in that case. Even Contador implies this afterwards- he claims he didn't know. Second of all, he DAMNED well new it- it was behind him when the chain went off, and anybody who rides a bike knows when the person in front has this happen. It's noisy, he slows immediately (which is clearly not due to Andy blowing up), and Contador HAS to be aware of what's going on around him in these situations. Third, he has teammates and could have waited once Vino told him over the radio. Fourth, he doesn't claim any responsibility at the podium when he takes a tainted yellow. He should have wait until he torched him in the TT, which is inevitable anyway. That way, he's a gentleman AND he wins. Geez.

  • July 19, 2010 - 1:07 pm | Permalink

    “Many people say that Contador was untraditional and unsportsmanlike by taking advantage of Schleck’s misfortune.”

    Really? Granted, i don't follow racing at all, but it seems like this would be a perfect time for this. Is the whole peleton supposed to stop for him?

    Is TdF no-drop?

  • Andy
    July 19, 2010 - 2:35 pm | Permalink

    In a flat section, it's in your favor to wait because you can still work the draft off each other. On a hill though, it's totally different to get your momentum back. No one needs to wait. Maybe if he waited, he might expect a good pull from him later on, but it's certainly not required. This is a right, isn't it?

  • captainkickstand
    July 19, 2010 - 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Watch the video. Schleck launches an attack, Contador responds, Schleck drops his chain. It's a lot to ask of a competitor to respond to an acceleration, then hold up and wait when the guy who tried to hit him has what looks like a minor mechanical, assuming he actually did realize what happened. It's entirely likely that Schleck dropped the chain because of sloppy shifting.

    There's room for legitimate debate about what the best, most sportsman-like thing to do would have been but there are strong arguments to be made for both actions.

    Correct me if I'm wrong: aren't team radios one-way, between the team director and the riders? The racers can't talk to each other, can they?

  • July 19, 2010 - 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Good question about team radio – I'd imagine you'd hear nothing but a lot of heavy breathing, especially when chasing uphill. And Schleck shifted his chain off, it's not really a mechanical.

    In any case, Schleck's gunning for Contador now — it should be interesting in the hills again tomorrow!

  • Chainrepair
    July 19, 2010 - 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Contador has already demonstrated that he is a fair cyclist. Andy has not. He talks too much and need too learn a bit. Days back, he waited for Andy when Andy was involved in an accident in the pave. However, Andy did not wait for Contador the following stage when Contador was involved in another accident and was behind. Andy advantage till today (30 sec) was mainly due to that stage. In the Alpes, Contador already cut the advantage in 10 seconds showing who is the stronger racers. The Tour will not be won by 30 sec. In the time trail, Andy is going to drop to the 3rd or 4th position. He will lose 2-3 minutes, at least. So, today 30 seconds recovered by Contador will be just an anecdote to discuss in this type of forums. I doubt that tomorrow none can get any relevant time. The Tourmalet is too far from the finish line to make a real impact.

  • gearinches
    July 19, 2010 - 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Is the entire group of riders supposed to stop each time someone gets a flat or drops a chain? You compete to win, and so long as you're not purposely sabotaging another rider, it's game on.

  • JayDub
    July 19, 2010 - 8:09 pm | Permalink

    I believe in the post race interview Contador did indicate he knew that Andy had had a mechanical.

  • JayDub
    July 19, 2010 - 8:11 pm | Permalink

    I like Andy's response in the post-race interview. “I wouldn't have done it” but he never really said anything bad about Contador. In the end I feel like this will only serve Contador for the worse…. because the next 2 days, Andy will be guns out.

  • MarvinK
    July 19, 2010 - 8:56 pm | Permalink

    I think the most interesting piece about his chain falling off was that Vino clearly saw it fall off AND clearly let up and expected to wait. I think he was surprised to see Contador cruise on ahead. If nothing else, Contador would've heard it over the radio–cause Vino definitely knew it.

    I think it's a load of crap–and stupid on Contador's part. Unless Andy was going to add a LOT more time on Contador, he was still going to win the Tour. Now it won't matter how much time he wins by, he won't ever get the same level of respect for winning.

  • bikesgonewild
    July 20, 2010 - 12:07 am | Permalink

    …i love that schleck was cheered when he donned the white jersey yet contador was receiving jeers & whistles (euro-boo's) when he smugly draped himself in yellow…

    …bob roll, who as you all know has ridden “le tour” sez the move was “not honorable”…fully agreed…

    …contador may be one of the best, or even “the” best climbers but i see him as a selfish, self centered liar…

    …watch the video carefully & then listen & read what he had to say about the situation…he contradicts himself over & over again…same w/ his facebook “apology” to his “friend” andy schleck…

    …sad, weak & pathetic…he doesn't ride for team astana, he rides for “team pistolero”…always will…

  • Cassidy
    July 24, 2010 - 11:12 am | Permalink

    So what do you think about your comments now…They were separated by 30 seconds on the TT today…By my count if Andy's chain does not come of and…IF (Big IF) Contador had been able to match Schlek's acceleration that day and they finish together, this race would be tied…Andy would still hold a 31 second advantage going into today and that is what he lost by on the TT today…Amazing! Schleck will win this next year!

  • Aasma_q
    July 24, 2010 - 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Not to mention Andy was racing without his brother and doing all the work! Contador had more help and is now being a big baby and saying he had a cold. The other day when Andy was staring him in the face, Contador said he felt pretty good…now it's a different story.

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