Tour De France 2009 Highlights
The battle between Team Astana teammates, Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador, provided the greatest Tour De France 2009 highlights. American Lance Armstrong returned from a four-year retirement from professional racing to challenge eventual winner Contador all the way until the end. Ultimately Contador, the 26 year-old Spaniard, proved too talented for the rest of the field and secured the yellow jersey for his second career Tour de France victory.
Following 3,500 kilometers of racing over three weeks, the 96th Tour de France ended with Alberto Contador in first place, Andy Schleck of Luxembourg in second place, and Lance Armstrong in third position. With both Contador and Armstrong racing for the same team, many long-time observers were unsurprised by the tension among the Team Astana ranks as two of its riders fought for the 2009 Tour de France victory.
During Stage 7, Contador made a strong charge to pull away from the pack of riders during a climb. This impulsive decision caused many teammates to openly question whether Contador was more interested in his own success to the detriment of the team. While this was the first crack in the unity among Team Astana, questions persisted throughout the 2009 Tour de France about whether Armstrong and Contador were more invested in their personal rivalry instead of Team Astana success.
The upcoming 2010 Tour de France promises extra excitement as Alberto Contador defends his 2009 Tour victory against rival Lance Armstrong, now a member of Team Radio Shack. Towards the end of the 2009 Tour de France, Armstrong’s four-year absence took its toll as he struggled against Contador in the mountain stages that he used to dominate. With another year of training and conditioning under his belt, Lance Armstrong will be fully fit to challenge the incumbent champion, Alberto Contador, for the 2010 championship.