Tour de France 2010: Contador Takes Yellow Jersey

Defending Tour de France champion Alberto Contador benefited from a mechanical problem suffered by his main rival, as he snatched the yellow jersey from Andy Schleck after the 15th stage on Monday.

Thomas Voeckler won the 116.5-mile stage from Pamiers to Bagneres-de-Luchon, the second stage in the Pyrenees, in 4 hours, 44 minutes, and 51 seconds for his second career Tour stage victory. However, the story of the day was Schleck, who lost his chain less than 2.5 miles from the top of Port de Bales, the hardest climb of the day. The mechanical problem allowed Contador to zoom past Schleck and take the Tour lead for the first time this year. Schleck tried to catch up with Contador but his efforts were all in vain. Schleck later lashed out at the riders who were with him for not waiting when he suffered the chain problem. “For sure these guys don’t get the fair play prize today,” he said.

Contador now leads Schleck by 8 seconds with five stages left. Spain’s Samuel Sanchez is in third place overall at exactly two minutes behind Contador. The top riders are expected to go at each other’s throat on Tuesday’s Bagneres-de-Luchon to Pau 16th stage, which is considered one of the most crucial routes on this year’s Tour.