Contador Maintains Tour De France Lead
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
The Tour De France is down to a duel between two men. Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck are only eight seconds apart with three days of racing to go. Yesterday, they attacked each other all the way up the Pyrenees, but neither rider could break away and they rolled across the finish line almost simultaneously. Eleanor Beardsley was there and she joins us now to talk about that and other various things on the tour. Hello.
ELEANOR BEARDSLEY: Good morning, Renee.
MONTAGNE: Give us a feel of what the race was like yesterday.
BEARDSLEY: And they just fought it all the way up to the top and basically crossed the finish line together. Schleck was ahead by half a bike length, so he won the stage, but Contador kept his eight seconds. So this is a great cycling rivalry coming up again. And both guys are young, so we're going to see it for a while.
MONTAGNE: Of the two, who has the best chance of winning when the race ends in Paris on Sunday?
BEARDSLEY: Well, odds favor Contador, because on Saturday there's a 32-mile time trial, and that is Contador's forte. So Schleck, by his own admission, said he needed to get a minute on Contador yesterday, and he didn't do that. But he says he's not going to give up. So it's still up in the air, but most probably Contador.
MONTAGNE: Now, let's talk about a name that usually doesn't come up last, but it's going to be in this instance, Lance Armstrong and his team Radio Shack.
BEARDSLEY: He's got staying power. He showed humility. And what's really funny is President Sarkozy visited the race yesterday. And he's an avid cyclist and a Lance Armstrong fan. And Armstrong described their meeting as the meeting of two old guys who like to ride bikes.
MONTAGNE: Well, that's great. And the race is over on Sunday. Thank you for talking to us about this, Eleanor Beardsley.
BEARDSLEY: It's been my pleasure, Renee.
MONTAGNE: And Eleanor's been following the Tour de France for NPR.
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