Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Spaniard wins third Tour de France

Farewell: Seven-time champion Lance Armstrong, 38, bids adieu to spectators during his final ride at the Tour de France.

Associated Press

Farewell: Seven-time champion Lance Armstrong, 38, bids adieu to spectators during his final ride at the Tour de France.

PARIS — Alberto Contador stood atop the podium at the Tour de France on Sunday for the third time in four years, struggling to rein in his emotions as Spain's national anthem echoed across the wide boulevard of the Champs-Elysees.

Off to one side, Lance Armstrong applauded then headed toward the exit.

"I need a cold beer," he said when asked his thoughts at the finish line.

Rarely has the emergence of a superstar dovetailed so neatly with the departure of the last one.

Contador held off a challenge Saturday from Luxembourg's Andy Schleck, runnerup for a second consecutive year, draining much of the drama from the 20th and final stage Sunday.

"I suffered to get this result," Contador said before hoisting the victor's cup. "I don't have words to express what I feel."

Contador, 27, exchanged hugs with his Astana teammates, who began chanting "Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole" on the Champs-Elysees, where thousands of fans lined the route to cheer the cyclists.

Armstrong completed his last Tour in 23rd, 39:20 back. His crash-filled journey was a far cry from the third-place finish he posted in 2009 on his return from a four-year retirement. Still, he had no regrets.

"I wouldn't say that it's ruined," the American said. "In 10 years, when I look back on the 2010 Tour, it won't be the memory that I have."

And the sport that the seven-time champion, 38, leaves behind hardly wants for budding stars eager to lead the way.

Schleck, for one, vows he'll win the yellow jersey one day. That promise could produce the next great Tour rivalry, but this year, it wasn't always sporting.

The high-drama point in the race came in Stage 15 when Schleck, wearing the yellow jersey, had his bike's chain come undone. Contador sped ahead — upsetting some aficionados — and by the stage finish, he had taken yellow and 39 seconds on Schleck, who wasn't happy.

But by the time they reached Paris, the coronation trumped any lingering controversy.

Armstrong, the most successful Tour rider ever, still faces accusations by former teammate Floyd Landis that he used performance-enhancing drugs.

But he's happy, for the time being, to be out of the limelight.

"Right now, I'm going to the Bahamas; I'm gonna put my feet up and forget about riding the bike for a little bit."

Final stage

Sunday: 20th stage, largely ceremonial 63.7-mile ride from Longjumeau to Paris

Winner: Britain's Mark Cavendish

Yellow jersey: Spain's Alberto Contador, who won his third Tour

Most Tour titles

7 Lance Armstrong, U.S.

5 Miguel Indurain, Spain; Bernard Hinault, France; Eddy Merckx, Belgium; Jacques Anquetil, France

3 Alberto Contador, Spain; Greg LeMond, U.S.; Louison Bobet, France; Philippe Thys, Belgium

Spaniard wins third Tour de France 07/25/10 [Last modified: Monday, July 26, 2010 7:50am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Browns, who visit Bucs this week, take a courageous step toward social change

    Bucs

    CLEVELAND — The laughingstock of the league during a 1-15 season in 2016, the Browns took a dramatic step forward Monday night.

    Browns players kneel as others stand to support their circle during the national anthem before Monday night's preseason game against the Giants. [Associated Press]
  2. Can Bucs become Tampa Bay's favorite team again?

    Bucs

    Their playoff run came up a tiebreaker short.

    Bucs fullback, Mike Alstott talks to the crowd as he walked along Kennedy Blvd. in downtown Tampa during the Buccaneer victory parade Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2003.Times Photo by: Fraser Hale
  3. Jones: Koetter-Winston exchange highlights latest 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    There are certain things that make HBO's Hard Knocks must-see television.

    Jameis Winston, left, has an exchange with Dirk Koetter that highlights Hard Knocks.
  4. Trevor Plouffe is DFA'd by Rays, Kittredge recalled for now

    Blogs

    INF Trevor Plouffe didn't do much with the opportunity the Rays gave him, and time ran out Tuesday when he was designated for assignment after the game.

    Plouffe hit just .178, with one homer and two RBIs, in 31 games for the Rays, his primary playing time from starting at first or third against lefties.

  5. Rays journal: Offense shows signs of waking up in win over Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The drought was so severe that it's still probably too soon to say the Rays are out of it, but scoring a half-dozen runs in Tuesday's 6-5 win over the Blue Jays was another promising sign.

    Corey Dickerson high-fives Wilson Ramos after hitting a solo home run in the third inning, putting the Rays up 2-1.