Alberto Contador wins the 2010 Tour de France but was he the best and most consistent performer over three week, asks Michael Tomalaris.
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7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:36 PM

Alberto Contador wins the 2010 Tour de France but was he the best and most consistent performer over three weeks?

Obviously,
the answer to that question is yes – after all the Spaniard collects
the yellow for a third year and confirms his place as the best in the
business.

But I can't help thinking what might have been had Andy Schleck started on a more positive note.

By losing some 60 seconds on his main rivals in the Rotterdam prologue, Schleck may have blown his chances from day 1.

Hard
to believe the turning point of a three week marathon could unfold
during the first 8.9km time trial of a 3.600km marathon.

While
the "dropped chain" incident of stage 15 remains a hotly debated talking
point, the Prologue will probably come back to haunt him, I feel
Schleck's initially slow start was the catalyst to his overall downfall.

The
Luxembourger doesn't need me to tell him that improvement in the "race
of truth" discipline is required if he's to challenge for Tour hours
next year, not to mention the return and support of his greatest ally –
brother Frank.

Both have been signed to headline a Luxembourg based consortium that is expected to win selection to compete at the 2011 Tour.

For
mine, despite failing to win a stage, Contador was the most consistent
performer over three weeks and he thoroughly deserves the accolades that
come with standing on the top step of the winner's podium in Paris.

As
for the age-old argument on whether "a Tour winner deserves his place
on the honour roll without a stage win" – that doesn't wash with me.

The Tour is all about consistency and Contador has ticked all the boxes.

Finally, if the riders are tired, then what about the viewers who have watched the drama unfold on TV sets and online?

SBS
management tells me this has been one of the most successful Tours in
terms of viewing numbers, in the 20 years the broadcaster has been
covering the event.

We like to think the Australian television viewing habits for sport have changed as a result of bringing the Tour to you.

There
was a time when only true cycling aficionados would have known of the
Tour legends of the past such as Anquetil, Hinault, Poulidor, Anderson
and Merckx, to name but a few.

I can only imagine names such as
Hushovd, Cavendish, Evans, and Armstrong would fade into insignificance
if it wasn't for this wonderful extravaganza.

And now we can add Contador and Schleck to the list of household names.

Thank
you (the viewer) for making the Tour what it is, as we understand the
time difference for live coverage is awkward given the late finish of
each stage.

Congratulations to Alberto Contador and Vive Le Tour - always!