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Contador - I have Armstrong's full support

  • Story Highlights
  • Alberto Contador is confident he has backing of teammate Lance Armstrong
  • Contador took the Tour de France yellow jersey after winning Sunday's stage
  • The Spaniard now leads fellow-Astana rider Armstrong by 97 seconds overall
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(CNN) -- Alberto Contador is confident he has the backing of Astana teammate Lance Armstrong in his quest to retain the yellow jersey until the end of the Tour de France.

Contador is confident of keeping the coveted yellow jersey with the backing of teammate Lance Armstrong.

Contador is confident of keeping the coveted yellow jersey with the backing of teammate Lance Armstrong.

The Spaniard produced a devastating break in the final 5km of the first-category climb to the finish line in the Swiss ski resort of Verbier, to win Sunday's 15th stage.

Contador, who won the race two years ago, came home 43 seconds clear of Saxo-Bank's Andy Schleck to hold a 97-second lead over Armstrong in the general classification - and he feels the American seven-time winner will do all he can to help him in his bid for victory.

Speaking at a news conference on Monday's rest day, Contador said: "Sunday was a big step towards final victory.

"I fully trust my team. The riders are very professional. I will finish this race with them without any problems. After yesterday's result, everything is much clearer within the team now. Lance said afterwards that he would back me and I believe him," he added.

Britain's Bradley Wiggins is now in third place in the overall classification, one minute 46 seconds behind Contador, but the Spaniard feels Luxembourg's Andy Schleck poses the greater threat.

"The strongest is Andy Schleck but I don't fear someone in particular. The dangerous situation is if they all attack together. I must make sure I do everything correctly so that my rivals cannot have a chance."

Schleck, who lies 2:26 behind Contador in fifth position after his second-placed finish on Sunday, believes there is still plenty of time to overhaul the race leader and the other podium contenders.

"I was impressed by Contador, I didn't expect him to be so strong," said the Saxo Bank rider. "We're ready to take all the risks in the third week. I'm sure we can isolate them. The ideal scenario would be to find myself with Contador and (brother and teammate) Frank in the finale."

Tuesday's 16th stage signals the start of the demanding final week of the race and with the next two stages in the Alps, Schleck is confident of gaining ground on the leaders.


The 24-year-old, who finished 12th last year, said: "I'm better than Armstrong in the mountains. Verbier was just the last climb of the day, it wasn't much.

"It will be very different with so many big passes in the next couple of stages. To make it to the podium, we must blow Wiggins and Armstrong up and then isolate Contador."

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