Contador wins second Giro d’Italia

Alberto Contador has won the Giro d’Italia title and will now try to become the first man since 1998 to win the Tour de France in the same year.

The 32-year-old Spaniard, who rides for Tinkoff-Saxo, won the Giro by one minute and 53 seconds from Italy’s Fabio Aru, 24, who rides for Astana.

“It’s been a beautiful Giro, and a very special experience,” said Contador.

Sunday’s 178km finale was expected to end in a bunch sprint but Belgium’s Iljo Keisse won after a late break.

Keisse’s victory was the only surprise on the traditionally processional final stage from Turin, which culminated with seven laps of a five kilometre circuit in Milan.

The Etixx – Quick-Step rider and Australia’s Orica GreenEdge rider Luke Durbridge broke clear of the peloton with around 30km remaining and the duo held off the chasing bunch on the final lap around Milan.

Track specialist Keisse then outsprinted Durbridge in the final 100m.

Contador, who all-but sealed the win on Saturday’s penultimate stage despite seeing his lead cut in half by Aru, finished a few seconds behind the main bunch to claim his second victory in the three-week race.

The 2008 champion becomes just the second man, after France’s Bernard Hinault, to win all three Grand Tours (Giro, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana) at least twice.

He also moves up to joint fourth, alongside fellow Spaniard Miguel Indurain and Italy’s Fausto Coppi, on the list of all-time Grand Tour winners, behind Belgium’s Eddy Merckx (11), Hinault (10) and France’s Jacques Anquetil (8).

Contador, who was stripped of his 2010 Tour and 2011 Giro titles after a positive doping test, will now aim to emulate the late Marco Pantani, who 17 years ago was the last man to do the Giro-Tour double.

“I don’t know how long it will take to recover. I’m tired, and I know it will take time,” he said.

Contador is set to face the likes of Britain’s 2013 Tour winner Chris Froome, Italy’s defending champion Vincenzo Nibali and Colombia’s Nairo Quintana, who won last year’s Giro, in the Tour de France, which starts on 4 July.

Stage 21 result:

1.

Iljo Keisse (Bel/Etixx – Quick-Step) 4hrs, 18mins, 37secs

2.

Luke Durbridge (Aus/Orica) Same time

3.

Roger Kluge (Ger/IAM Cycling) +9secs

4.

Alexander Porsev (Rus/Katusha) Same time

5.

Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita/Trek)

6.

Luka Mezgec (Slo/Giant)

7.

Elia Viviani (Ita/Team Sky)

8.

Moreno Hofland (Ned/LottoNL)

9.

Davide Appollonio (Ita/Androni Giocattoli)

10.

Elia Favilli (Ita/Southeast)

Final standings:

1.

Alberto Contador (Spa/Tinkoff – Saxo) 88hrs, 22mins, 25secs

2.

Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana) +1min, 53secs

3.

Mikel Landa (Spa/Astana) +3mins, 05secs

4.

Andrey Amador (CRC/Movistar) +8mins, 10secs

5.

Ryder Hesjedal (Can/Cannondale) +9mins, 52secs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/32952922

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