Like a nasty couple long overdue for divorce, the reactions from Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong require a referee or better yet a team of lawyers.
Accusations flew fast and furious Monday with the Tour de France gag order over. Addressing the Spanish media, Contador said he had zero respect for the Texan and stated that on a personal level he had no admiration for Armstrong.
Not long after, Armstrong responded with a barrage of tweets, everything from “If I were him I’d drop this drivel and start thanking his team” to his afternoon counter-punch, “What did I say in March? Lots to learn. Restated.”
The relationship is beyond repair and the aftermath isn’t pretty. The following engagements, play dates and invitations have now been definitively cancelled.
Contador has been crossed off Lance’s September 18th birthday party in Austin. Alberto has already returned the wheel chair gag gift he bought on ebay.
Contador rescinded his invitation to the Fiesta de San Anton in January in Alberto’s hometown of Pinto, Spain. “Why would I want to eat pinto beans with him?” said Armstrong.
Lance has threatened legal action if Contador does not return the Kings of Leon CD and a special edition Texas Longhorns sweatshirt he let him borrow. The Spanish rider denied having the items but asked Amrstrong to give back the socks he lent him.
Lance has erased Contador from his linkedin connections and Alberto has wiped out Lance’s access to his Facebook page.
A promise by Contador to babysit Lance’s four kids if he won the tour was rescinded. Not to be outdone, Lance immediately cancelled Alberto’s invite to SXSW, the annual music and technology festival in Austin in mid March.
In addition, plans for Alberto to hang with Lance and Matthew McConaughey and meet some really hot Hollywood chicks were cancelled. The tentative date for Alberto and Lance to run the bulls together in Pamplona was put on hold forever. Yeah, it’s ugly. They’re too busy goring each other to bother with angry bulls in the streets.
Things really got ugly when Contador said he would henceforth refer to Armstrong as “that decrepit old man from Texas.” Lance responded by calling Contador a “wussy.” Johan Bruyneel said he’d ordered Contador to stop making so many “unscripted” remarks but the Spanish rider apparently told Bruyneel to shove a bunch of Belgian frites up his mouth.
The depth of the animosity surprised the most jaded sports journalists: Alberto returned the box of Livestrong bracelets he promised to sell. Armstrong for his part, reportedly trashed the Rosetta Stone Spanish Lessons he’d bought.
He also warned Contador he’d get no special Radio Shack discounts on electronics, cell phones or computer accessories. Contador fired back that he’d make sure no tapas restaurant in Spain would serve the Texan.
When asked for comment on the vicious Armstrong Contador feud, famed cycling commentator Phil Liggett said “oh my.” This story is far from over and makes the Lemond Hinault dispute look like two kids arguing over popsicles.