Alberto Contador was weakening at the end of the Tour de France, and was no longer the strongest rider on the team, he has told the Spanish newspaper Marca.
"From the ride up the Aubisque on I had a sore throat and felt weak. Leipheimer was the stronger of the two of us," he said. "When he attacked on the Aubisque, I called to him to stop, but neither he nor Johan [Bruyneel] heard me. Then I thought OK, let's see how far I can go."
The young Spaniard did all he could to hide his problems from his competitors and the press. "Someone asked me at a press conference why my voice was so hoarse. I said it was nothing. That seemed to me to be the best solution."