Contador takes second Vuelta win

Alberto Contador won his second Vuelta a Espana title in his first Grand Tour race since returning from

a drugs ban.

The Spaniard, 29, ended the race over a minute ahead of the rest of the field.

The 21st stage, a race around the streets of Contador’s home city Madrid, was won by John Degenkolb.

Britain’s Chris Froome, runner-up in

this year’s Tour de France

and

Olympic bronze medallist

in the time trial, was fourth overall, 10 minutes behind Contador.

Vuelta a Espana – recent winners

2007

– Dennis Menchov (Russia)

2008

– Alberto Contador (Spain)

2009

– Alejandro Valverde (Spain)

2010

– Vicenzo Nibali (Italy)

2011

– Juan Jose Cobo (Spain

Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez took second and third to make it a one-two-three finish for Spain.

Double Tour de France winner Contador was given a backdated two-year ban earlier in 2012 for testing positive for clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour.

He was out of competition for six months before returning to action for Team Saxo Bank on the Eneco Tour in August.

“Because of what happened coming in, this victory is very special for me,” Contador said.

“I came in without having competed for a long time and things were complicated. Reflecting on it, there are a lot of emotions that are very strong and that can’t be explained with words. It’s a big weight from me.”

Stage 21 results:

1. John Degenkolb (Ger/Argos) 2:44:57″

2. Elia Viviani (Ita/Liquigas) Same time

3. Daniele Bennati (Ita/RadioShack)

4. Allan Davis (Aus/Orica)

5. Koldo Fernandez (Spa/Garmin)

6. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar)

7. Gert Steegmans (Bel/Omega Pharma – Quick-Step)

8. Zdenek Stybar (Cze/Omega Pharma – Quick-Step)

9. Raymond Kreder (Ned/Garmin)

10. Gorka Verdugo (Spa/Euskaltel)

11. Pim Ligthart (Ned/Vacansoleil)

12. Leonardo Duque (Col/Cofidis)

13. Matti Breschel (Den/Rabobank)

14. Manuel Cardoso (Por/Caja Rural)

15. Klaas Lodewyck (Bel/BMC Racing)

16. Denys Kostyuk (Ukr/Lampre)

17. Lloyd Mondory (Fra/AG2R)

18. Egoitz Garcia (Spa/Cofidis)

19. Ben Swift (Gbr/Team Sky)

20. Dominique Rollin (Can/FDJ)

Overall standings:

1. Alberto Contador (Spa/Saxo Bank) 84:59:49″

2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +1:16″

3. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa/Katusha) +1:37″

4. Chris Froome (Gbr/Team Sky) +10:16″

5. Daniel Moreno (Spa/Katusha) +11:29″

6. Robert Gesink (Ned/Rabobank) +12:23″

7. Andrew Talansky (US/Garmin) +13:28″

8. Laurens ten Dam (Ned/Rabobank) +13:41″

9. Igor Anton (Spa/Euskaltel) +14:01″

10. Benat Intxausti (Spa/Movistar) +16:13″

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/19537111

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