Fabian Cancellara finished second in today’s Annecy time trial, but he was first to speak out at what he felt was preferential treatment for stage winner Alberto Contador. The final rider to start the stage, the Spaniard completed the 40.5-kilometre test three seconds faster than Cancellara.
According to the Swiss Olympic champion, who was quick to share his frustration with journalists at the team’s hotel, Contador had received help from race motorcycles during the stage.
"I did everything I could. It’s always hard, but when you start late you have an advantage of being informed about everything, but if you look [at the results, you] can’t say if he was stronger or not," Cancellara said from his team hotel, consolation beer in hand.
Contador was 15 second ahead of Cancellara at the 37 kilometre mark but slowed in the closing stages. "On TV it looked like his bike was too close. My bike was very far away. For me the day is over and I’m looking forward to helping my teammates as much as possible until we get to Paris. Everybody was cracking, but those small details count and maybe he had the small details on his side. Both physically and mentally it would have helped him."
Cancellara, who won the race’s opening time trial in Monaco, added: "But that’s bike racing. You sometimes have the same in the Classics. Contador had it the same when he went away on Andorra. But I’ll drink my beer and I’ll be happy."
For images of stage 18 click here
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