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Contador and Schleck waiting for Pyrenees

Updated: July 11, 2011, 09:25


Andy Schleck of Luxembourg looks at the photographer during the 9th stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 208 kilometers (129 miles) starting in Issoire and finishing in Saint Flour, central France, Sunday July 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

THIEZAC, France (AP) Defending champion Alberto Contador and main rival Andy Schleck have yet to properly test each other in this year's Tour de France - they have been too busy avoiding serious injury in nine days of manic racing.

Although Contador has already crashed twice, the Spaniard was somewhat lucky to escape with just a bruised right knee, given that several other riders had to drop out with more serious injuries. They include Alexandre Vinokourov and Bradley Wiggins.

Schleck, the Tour runner-up to Contador in the past two years, says "we feel very fortunate that none of our team members was involved in a big crash.''

With Contador's sore knee still bothering him, Schleck will gauge the three-time champion's true fitness in the Pyrenees climbs starting Thursday.

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