Rivalry Grows Between Armstrong, Teammate

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2009 6:22 AM CDT
Lance Armstrong, right, and Alberto Contador, wearing the best climber's dotted jersey. The two are on the same team, but it's unclear who is the true leader.   (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
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(Newser) – Lance Armstrong is in third place going into the 10th stage of the Tour de France today—eight seconds behind the leader, and just two seconds behind Astana teammate Alberto Contador. The two cyclists have faced endless questions about a rift, reports the BBC, and it's unclear who will lead as the race wends its way into Paris. Recently Armstrong conceded that "the honest truth is that there is a little tension" and that third place would not be a good enough finish for him.

But Contador, the 2007 champion sought to downplay rumors: "It's a subject which is starting to tire me a bit," he said. Today the Tour moves into the first of three transitional flat stages before the brutal climbs through the Alps this weekend. Both riders think the mountain stages will be decisive, though Contador insisted: "To win the Tour de France on your own, it's impossible."