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Contador must attack to save his Tour

Updated: July 18, 2011, 09:24

Saxo bank Sungard cycling team director Bjarne Riis of Denmark, left, and three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador of Spain, right, listen to questions of reporters during a press conference on the second rest day of the Tour de France cycling race in Rochegude, southern France, Monday July 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

PIOULENC, France (AP) Alberto Contador knows he is running out of time, and stages, to close the gap on his Tour de France rivals.

The Spaniard says this year's race is "probably the hardest Tour I've done,'' with a combination of bad luck and a nagging knee injury having conspired to made it difficult for him to launch his trademark attacks in the mountains.

A fourth Tour title is still within Contador's grasp, but he must find a way to claw back from a four-minute deficit on race leader Thomas Voeckler. He's also lost time to Andy and Frank Schleck and two-time runner-up Cadel Evans.

Contador says his Saxo Bank team "need to attack, that's for sure,'' in the high climbs of the Alps later this week.

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