Skip to main content

Armstrong and Contador ready for Tour showdown

  • Story Highlights
  • Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador at launch of 2010 Tour de France route
  • Armstrong believes the race will be more open next year without team time trial
  • Contador upbeat about route with more climbing and two ascents of Tourmalet
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

(CNN) -- Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador will renew their fierce rivalry on a 2010 Tour de France route that features a fearsome stretch in the Pyrenees which is likely to decide the outcome of the 97th edition of cycling's most famous race.

Contador (left) and Armstrong beside the official route of the 2010 Tour de France.

Contador (left) and Armstrong beside the official route of the 2010 Tour de France.

Seven-time champion Armstrong finished third behind Contador on his comeback to cycling this year and is determined to gain revenge on his former Astana teammate.

The pair shared the stage at the Palais de Congres in Paris on Wednesday, standing by a giant map of the route, but did not exchange a word, legacy of a soured relationship from the 2009 race.

Armstrong, who left Astana to set up the new RadioShack team, believes the Tour will be more open next year, particularly without a team time-trial and only one individual time-trial.

"This year we ended up with three or four guys who could have won the Tour, next year we'll be going into the tough sections with 10 guys," he told reporters.

The 38-year-old American said he would study the route in detail before beginning his preparations, but knows his battle with Spaniard Contador will be the major talking point.

"It's good for cycling. I think he and I could do without it but I think it's good for the event and good for our sport. For sure the build up to the tour, from April to May to June and to the start, it'll be really intense."

Armstrong's mentor Johan Bruyneel, who was in charge of the Astana team this season, was also at the unveiling and confirmed he would be with RadioShack for the coming year.

Contador has not revealed which team he will ride for in the coming season, but a departure from Astana is still looking likely.

He believes the route with 23 mountain passes, including two ascents of the feared Tourmalet climb in the Pyrenees, will favor him and gave an upbeat assessment to reporters.

"The route is better than last year's because there are more mountains," Contador said. "And finishing with the Tourmalet is great for me."

The 2010 Tour de France starts with an eight kilometer prologue in the Dutch city of Rotterdam on July 3 with the riders facing an early test on stage three which takes in seven cobblestone sections as it takes in parts of the Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Paris-Roubaix one-day classics.

A potentially crucial individual time-trial stage in Bordeaux on the penultimate stage of the three-week tour precedes the traditional finish on the Champs Elysees in Paris.

Meanwhile, an autopsy on Belgian cyclist Franck Vandenbroucke, who was found dead in his hotel room in Senegal on Monday, will take place this week.

The 34-year-old, who was on holiday with cyclist friend Fabio Polazzi, made his professional debut in 1994 and recorded 51 victories, including the 1999 Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic, his career highlight.

All About Alberto ContadorLance ArmstrongAstanaJohan BruyneelTour de FranceCycling

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print