Contador wins Vuelta from Froome

Alberto Contador sealed victory in the Vuelta a Espana with a solid performance in the closing time trial stage in Santiago de Compostela.

In wet conditions on Sunday he lost 27 seconds to Briton Chris Froome.

But it was enough for Spaniard Contador to take his third Vuelta title, finishing one minute and 10 seconds ahead of the Team Sky rider overall.

“It’s a dream for me to win three Vueltas,” said 31-year-old Contador. “I really was not expecting it.”

Movistar’s Adriano Malori had the best of Sunday’s weather and won the stage from Jesse Sergent and Rohan Dennis.

Chris Froome in action i Sunday's time trial

Froome was never likely to claw back enough time on the final stage to beat Contador

Malori clocked 11 minutes and 12 seconds around the 9.7km course to beat New Zealand’s Sergent (Trek Factory Racing) by eight seconds with Australian Dennis (BMC) a further second back.

Tinkoff-Saxo rider Contador won stage 20 on Saturday to extend his overall lead from Britain’s Froome to one minute and 37 seconds to all but secure the title and add to his wins in 2008 and 2012.

It was an amazing recovery not only by Contador, 31, who

broke his leg less than two months ago in a crash

that forced him out of the Tour de France, but also by Froome, who broke his hand and wrist

in a crash that ended his Tour defence.

“These past two months, I have had a lot of ups and downs and the support of the fans has been crucial,” said Contador.

“I am extremely pleased and just want to thank the team as without them this win would have been impossible.”

Froome said: “I think given how I’ve come into this race, I couldn’t be happier with this result.

“I didn’t know if I was coming here to fight for top 10, to fight for the podium or to fight for the win, so this is really going to give me a lot of motivation going forward.

“We can take away a lot from this race.”

The Vuelta was the final Grand Tour of David Millar’s career as the 37-year-old Scot is retiring at the end of the season.

General Classification

1.

Alberto Contador (Spa/Tinkoff-Saxo) 81 hours 25 minutes 5 seconds

2.

Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +1:10″

3.

Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +1:50″

4.

Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa/Katusha) +3:25″

5.

Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana) +4:48″

6.

Samuel Sanchez (Spa/BMC Racing) +9:30″

7.

Daniel Martin (Ire/Garmin) +10:38″

8.

Warren Barguil (Fra/Giant) +11:50″

9.

Damiano Caruso (Ita/Cannondale) +12:50″

10.

Daniel Navarro (Spa/Cofidis) +13:02″

Alberto Contador

Contador had enough time in hand to take no risks around the time trial course on Sunday

Alejandro Valverde, Alberto Contador and Chris Froome

Spaniard Contador (centre) made up the 2014 Vuelta podium with Valverde (left) and Froome

Alberto Contador and Chris Froome

Contador and Froome greeted each other warmly on the podium in in Santiago de Compostela

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/29200614

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