A quick media rundown... first from Cyclingnews, yesterday (from Schleck)
Just 24 hours before their Tour de France showdown on the slopes of the Tourmalet, Alberto Contador opted to avoid the media and enjoy a low key rest day in Pau. However his big rival Andy Schleck was happy to be in the spotlight and held court in front of a hundred journalists.
"The Tour is ending and I'm running out of time. I can't wait until he has a bad day. There's only one chance left and that's tomorrow. I've got to try everything," he said to the media gathered at his feet.
When asked if he would wait for Contador if his chain slips on the Tourmalet, he said: "It won't happen. The Tour won't be decided because of a chain slipping or not."
"When I dropped my chain, the moment I got back on the bike I was 50 seconds back. At the top I was only 15 second down, I bridged a pretty good gap there and that gives me confidence," he said.
"I know I haven't given it everything yet."
And Today, from the Letour dot Fr
â€œIâ€™m satisfied with the stage win but I also wanted to turn white into yellow but unfortunately it wasnâ€™t possible. I really tried hard, you have to believe me about that. I changed rhythm and I tried everything but I think weâ€™re on the same level on the climbs. Alberto attacked and I could go with him â€“ it was a quick response â€“ but in the end he didnâ€™t sprint to win the stage because I did the most work. I have a lot of respect for that, it shows that heâ€™s a great champion.
â€œI 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 didnâ€™t have the sunglasses on today so it was possible to see, thatâ€™s why I looked so many times. But he always looked good and thatâ€™s kind of what killed me.
â€œEl 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 didnâ€™t succumb. He even attacked me to show, â€˜Hey, listen young boy, Iâ€™m still here! You better stop playing these games with me.â€™
â€œIâ€™m super happy to win this stage today â€“ itâ€™s the Queen stage of this yearâ€™s Tour. To win on the Tourmalet is like a win on Alpe dâ€™Huez.
â€œWhen I turned to talk to him, I said: â€˜You pass?â€™ And he didnâ€™t. I would have done the same. Why should he pass me? In the end, he let me win the stage and Iâ€™m super happy.â€
I think he was matured and humbled, in the same moment at the top of that climb.