Biting back ... Lance Armstrong, right, has returned fire to Alberto Contador via Twitter.
Cycling legend Lance Armstrong has hit back at teammate and Tour de France winner Alberto Contador after the Spaniard said their relationship was "non-existent".
Just hours after Contador told a news conference he "never had admiration for [Armstrong] and I never will" the 37-year-old returned fire on his Twitter account.
"Seeing these comments from AC. If I were him I'd drop this drivel and start thanking his team. w/o them, he doesn’t win," Armstrong wrote in the first of a series of Twitter messages aimed at Contador.
"hey pistolero, there is no "i" in "team". what did i say in March? Lots to learn. Restated."
Armstrong also re-posted a message from Belgian former cycling champion Axel Merckx, who wrote: "A champion is also measured on how much he respect[s] his teammates and opponents. You can win a race on your own, not a grand tour."
Contador earlier said his interactions with Armstrong, who came out of retirement to place third in the 2009 event, were strained.
"It was a delicate situation, tense, the two riders who had most weight on the team did not have an easy relationship and that puts the rest of the technical staff and the riders in an uncomfortable position," said the 26-year-old, who also won the Tour in 2007.
But "we knew that if kept cool heads, there would be no big problem".