Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong on Tuesday hit back following a stinging attack on him by this year’s Tour winner Alberto Contador.
Contador won the Tour de France title for the second time here on Sunday, with American rider Armstrong, who came out of retirement, finishing third.
But just hours after collecting his trophy on the Champs-Elysees the 26-year-old Spaniard launched an extraordinary attack on his Astana teammate.
“My relationship with Lance is non-existent,” Contador told a press conference in Madrid. “Even if he is a great champion, I have never had admiration for him and I never will.”
Armstrong, 37, hit back Tuesday, posting on his Twitter feed: “Seeing these comments from AC (Alberto Contador). If I were him I’d drop this drivel and start thanking his team. Without them, he doesn’t win.”
The American also claimed the Spaniard has “lots to learn”.
Armstrong added: “A champion is also measured on how much he respects his teammates and opponents. There is no ‘i’ in ‘team’. What did I say in March? Lots to learn. Restated.”
Contador had compared their relationship to that of Formula One drivers Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton during their contentious season at McLaren in 2007.
“It was a delicate situation, tense, the two riders who had most weight on the team did not have an easy relationship and that puts the rest of the technical staff and the riders in an uncomfortable position,” said the Spaniard, who also won the Tour in 2007.
But “we knew that if we kept cool heads, there would be no big problem,” he said.
© 2009 AFP & BikeRadar