“Toughest” tour for Contador ever

FRANCE, Paris : Yellow jersey of overall leader, Spain's Alberto Contador (L) poses for photographs after his third victory in the race at the end of the 102,5 km and last stage of the 2010 Tour de France cycling race run between Longjumeau and Paris Champs-Elysees avenue. (AFP Photo / Joel Saget)
Alberto Contador says he is relieved to have won the Tour de France. The Spaniard won the race for the third time in four years after beating Andy Schleck by 39 seconds. Russia's Denis Menchov also made the podium.

Contador had given himself a vital lead in Saturday's time trial, and was able to drink the traditional glass of champagne as they headed to the finish in Paris.

The last stage was won by Britian's Mark Cavendish, who pulled away in the closing meters on the Champs Elysees to claim a fifth stage win this year – but it was Contador who received the greatest applause.

The 27-year-old still has the chance to become one of the greatest riders ever. The greatest of them all, seven-time tour winner Lance Armstrong, announced his second retirement from the sport after the race, which the American finished in 23rd place.

Afterwards, Contador noted it was one of the toughest tours he's won.

“It was a very, very, very difficult Tour. At times I felt not as good as I would have wanted to from a physical standpoint. And on a psychological level there were hard moments as well,” he said in Spanish.