McQuaid: Armstrong-Contador Rivalry Good for Cycling
The rivalry between Tour de France champions Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador is healthy and good for cycling, the president of the sport's world body, Pat McQuaid, said.
The rivalry between Tour de France champions Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador is healthy and good for cycling, the president of the sport's world body, Pat McQuaid, said Saturday.
Contador won last year's tour as a teammate of Armstrong's but has since been critical of the seven-time Tour winner, saying their relationship was virtually "nonexistent."
Armstrong has more tactfully denied Contador's claims that he lacked support from his Astana teammates and team management during last July's Tour.
McQuaid told a news conference in Adelaide on Saturday, during the Tour Down Under, that the war of words between Armstrong and Contador were better than the doping controversies that have often hurt cycling.
"I see it as a healthy rivalry, I don't see it as being over the top," UCI president McQuaid said.
"They're both saying things to position themselves in the leadup to the Tour (de France) and that's a strategic aspect that there's always been throughout cycling. I don't think there's anything unhealthy about it. I think it's good for the sport."
Armstrong, 38, will ride this year's Tour de France for his new U.S.-based Team Radioshack. He returned to competitive cycling last year after a 3 1/2-year retirement lured by the desire to win the world's most famous cycling race for an eighth time.
Armstrong is competing in the six-day Tour Down Under and Saturday delivered a strong hint that this cycling season will not be his last. There had been strong speculation that Armstrong would retire for good at the end of the current season but he now appears to dismiss that possibility.
"I suspect I'll be doing some racing in 2011. I don't know if it will be a full schedule," Armstrong said.