PARIS -- Alberto Contador won the Tour de France for a second time Sunday, and Lance Armstrong capped his return to the race with an impressive third-place finish. Arian Foster Jersey
. Mark Cavendish of Britain collected his sixth stage win of this years Tour in a sprint after the 164-kilometre course ride from Montereau-Fault-Yonne to the Champs-Elysees. Over nearly 3,500 km and 21 stages of racing over three weeks, Contador repelled many challenges in the mountains, excelled in the two time-trials -- winning a pivotal race against the clock in the 18th stage -- and won the first Alpine stage. Andy Schleck of Luxembourg, Contadors biggest rival among title contenders in the mountains, was second overall. Contador, the 2007 champion, also had to battle a rearguard action within his Astana team, where the comeback of Armstrong to the Tour after 3 1/2 years of retirement raised questions about who would be the team leader. "It has been an especially difficult Tour for me, but I savour it and it is more special because of it," Contador said after the prize ceremony. The subtext to the race was the open tension between Armstrong and Contador within Astana -- a battle of egos between a proven cycling giant and another making the strong case that hes one, too. The body language on the winners podium said it all. As he climbed onto the victors stage, Armstrong gave a perfunctory handshake to Contador, then heartily shook Schlecks hand. The quintessential American competitor cast a long sideways glance at the victors bowl as Contador took it. Armstrong only gave a quick glance at his own crystal trophy. The American had his whole clan on hand: his son Luke, twin girls Grace and Isabelle -- all dressed in yellow -- and their mom, Kristin; and his girlfriend Anna Hansen, with their baby Max in a sling. Luke got a high-five and a word of congratulations "on the third place of your dad," from Astana manager Johan Bruyneel outside the team bus. "Thanks," the twins said. Victorias Ryder Hesjedal, the lone Canadian in this years Tour, finished 49th overall 1:14:03 back. Massive crowds poured out onto Paris most famous avenue for the finish: Norwegians in Viking helmets, flag-waving Britons and an American in a stars-and-stripes top hat among them. By the end of the race, Armstrong was talking less of squabbling within Astana and more about Contadors greatness as a rider -- and admitted his form wasnt the best. "Im realistic. I did everything I could," Armstrong said before the final stage. "For me, and even more for my kids, its probably a healthy thing for them to see, because they saw their dad that never lost, and the kids in their class (say) your dad never loses, so its good for them to see dad get third and still be cool with that and still be happy." Asked on French TV what the hardest moment in this race, Contador replied: "It was in the (team) hotel," without elaborating. Contador and Armstrong reportedly had differences early in the race, as tensions grew over who was the No. 1 Astana rider. "We are totally incompatible. In the end, Armstrong will go his way and Ill go mine," Contador said. Some old habits died hard for the Texan. On the ride into Paris, Armstrong -- reviving a habit from his heyday -- sipped Champagne in the saddle, only this time it was to celebrate Contadors win and their collective win as a team. Armstrong and Contador both took a few sips and posed with glass in one hand, handlebar in the other, but then tipped away the rest of the bubbly half-drunk and threw away the glasses. The Spaniard did enjoy this victory more than in 2007. Four days from the finish that year, then race leader Michael Rasmussen of Denmark was sent home for lying about his whereabouts during pre-Tour doping controls. "In the key stages of this Tour, I found myself feeling more at ease than I did in 2007. But in situations outside of racing, I didnt feel so comfortable," Contador told Spanish broadcaster TVE. After Oscar Pereiros victory in 2006 and Carlos Sastres in 2008, the Tour has been won by a Spaniard for four straight years. Contador began the Tour on July 4 as the pre-race favourite. At only 26 years old, he is already one of cyclings greats, having won all three Grand Tours of France, Italy and Spain. He had to sit out last year because of a doping scandal at Astana before he joined. Contador finished in 85 hours 48 minutes 35 seconds. The race looped from Monaco, across the Mediterranean rim into Spain, up the Pyrenees, diagonally across central and northeastern France to the Alps, and then down to Saturdays race climax on the dreaded Mont Ventoux in southeast France before the Paris finish. Schleck was 4:11 seconds behind. Armstrong was 5:24 back. After three straight Tours decided by less than a minute between first and second place, Contadors margin of victory was the largest since Armstrong collected his last title in 2005. The 24-year-old Schleck won the white jersey awarded to the Tours best young rider. Franco Pellizotti of Italy picked up the polka-dot jersey given to the races King of the Mountains. Armstrong, the 37-year-old seven-time Tour champion, is the second-oldest rider to reach the Tour podium. Raymond Poulidor of France was 40 he placed third in 1976. Cavendish set his own record: no rider has ever won six Tour stages in a sprint. But Thor Hushovd of Norway beat the 24-year-old Briton for the green jersey given to the Tours best Tour sprinter. Cavendish made it look easy, winning by several bike lengths in the last mad dash, trailed in second by his own lead-out man on the Columbia team, Mark Renshaw. Tyler Farrar of the United States was third. "For sure, winning on the Champs-Elysees is a dream for every single sprinter -- to see the Arc de Triomphe in the distance," said Cavendish, acknowledging it would have been a "bonus" to take home the green jersey. "I cant go home from this Tour being disappointed -- I won six stages," he added. Blaine Gabbert Jersey
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.Y. - One way or another, Darcy Regier had no intention of leaving the NHL draft in Pittsburgh without addressing the Buffalo Sabres most pressing need at centre.LONDON -- FIA president Max Mosley said Friday a breakaway series could still be formed by the Formula One Teams Association despite a peace pact being agreed. The prospect of the fragile accord surviving were put in doubt Thursday -- just 24 hours after being agreed -- when Mosley dispatched an angry letter to Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo. Mosley demanded a public apology after Di Montezemolo hailed the departure of the "dictator" after 16 years in office. Di Montezemolo chose to respond privately, telling Mosley he had been misunderstood and pledged to respect Wednesdays agreement that saw the FIAs planned voluntary budget cap scrapped to win back the eight rebel teams. "Di Montezemolo replied yesterday," Ferrari spokesman Luca Colajanni told The Associated Press on Friday. "Its pointless to go on with the polemic -- it can only damage the sport." In a letter Friday to the FIAs ruling council, Mosley explained the deal with FOTA and said that "no doubt we face a difficult period." Mosley dropped the contentious 40-million-pound ($76.3 million) voluntary budget cap, instead agreeing to an unquantified -- and unenforceable -- instruction to reduce costs to the levels of the 1990s. He insisted he wasnt bullied into submission by the eight rebel teams -- including Ferrari and McLaren -- but accepted that it is an uneasy truce. "This may well result in short-term problems in Formulla One," Mosley said. Sebastian Janikowski Jersey
. "It is possible FOTA will set up an independent series. That is their right, provided they do so under the International Sporting Code, but the Formula One world championship will continue to be run by the FIA as it has been for 60 years. "The championship has had difficult times in the past, and no doubt will again in the future. But that is no reason to hand control to an outside body, still less one with little or no understanding of sporting ethics and under the control of an industry we have to constantly monitor." Despite earlier announcing he would "step back" ahead of the elections for his successor in October, Mosley said he will fulfil his role as president until his fourth term in office ends. "There have even been claims I have ceased to fulfil my role as president, effective immediately. These claims are completely false," Mosley said. "I will continue to fulfil my role as president up until, and including, our general assembly in October. "For me to do otherwise would be to betray the support I received last year when my role as president was confirmed by FIA clubs at the extraordinary general assembly. In regard to the claims the FIA was somehow bullied into submission by teams, I can only again stress that the FIA achieved the two goals it set itself -- that of very significantly reduced costs and additional teams." ' ' '