What Vino learned today was that Contador is a totally self-centered rider, willing to deny a teammate a probable stage win just to gain a few seconds for himself against a rival - reminiscent of Stage 9 last year, when Contador attacked his own team to deny his intra-team rival Lance Armstrong the yellow jersey.
I am assuming, of course, that Vino have won today had Contador not gone on the attack. But it's not at all clear that Rodriguez could have closed the gap on his own; and Contador was the one making the pace after the attack. With Vino up the road, most other teammates would have simply followed Rodriguez's wheel, and only attacked if and when he passed Vino. But, as we already know, Contador is not "most teammates."
From Contador's point of view, he was able to put time into his chief rival, and time is everything in the GC. But it was probably not a good move from the perspective of the team and team chemistry. Vino, himself, is known to be a self-centered and temperamental rider. Having announced that he would ride for Contador in this year's Tour could not have been easy for him. How hard will he work for Contador after this? And if he doesn't, will it make any difference? (Contador proved last year that he can win even riding in a splintered team.)
I'm no great fan of either Contador or Vinokourov (at least Contador is not a known drug cheat). I'm just fascinated by the potential for a repeat of the same kind of inter-personal and intra-team conflict that we saw on Team Astana last year, and wondering whether the outcome would be the same.
UPDATE: Here's what Vino is saying, publicly at least (see here).
“I wanted to be up the road to help Alberto if he needed it and to try to win the stage. I can understand why Alberto attacked – he needs to get time on Schleck,” Vinokourov said after finishing third. “Alberto is very strong and he will be even better in the Pyrénées. We are confident about Alberto in the coming stages. The GC is complicated for me. I will ride to help Alberto win the Tour with Astana.”