It looked like the two main contenders for the Tour de France were going to be content to let others win the stage yesterday until the last 10km of the climb up the Tourmalet.
Then Andy Shleck put the hammer down and sailed past the race leaders, who at one point, had a nine minute gap. With just 8kms to go, it was Schleck versus Contador. Contador seemed to be willing to allow Schleck to take the pace until, with 3.9kms left to the summit, he put in an attack. Schleck very quickly responded and when he drew alongside, gave his rival a long stare that spoke volumes.
Contador responded to that and graciously let Schleck win the stage by less than a wheels length.
Now it is all down to Saturday’s 52km time trial from Bordeaux to Pauillac. Contador is said to be the better time trialler but Schleck has improved his skills in this department over the last year. You can be sure that he will not be giving up without a fight and will ride the time trial of his life. Anything might happen; for example (not that I am wishing this upon him) Contador could loose his chain - that would be ironic. With only eight seconds in it, the race is not over yet.