Alberto Contador Wins Vuelta a Castilla y Leon Time Trial and Xavier Tondo Takes Overall Lead
Team Saxo Bank-SunGard's Alberto Contador made up for a week of unlucky breaks in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon 2011 by winning today's time trial. Team Movistar's Xavier Tondo took the overall race lead.
Alberto Contador made up for a week of unlucky breaks in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon 2011 by winning today's time trial.
The Tour de France champion completed the 11.2-kilometer (7-mile) course in 13 minutes, 42 seconds to edge Saxo Bank-SunGuard teammate Richie Porte by one second and new overall leader Xavier Tondo of Movistar by two seconds.
Contador, a three-time winner looking to defend his title, endured a pair of tire punctures in two of the first three legs, including near the close of Friday's mountain top finish, to drop out of contention.
"Of course I'm not happy because my place in the overall standings today would have been different if nothing had happened to me ... but that's cycling," Contador commented after the finish and added "It's better that this happens at the Vuelta de Castilla and Leon than at the Giro (d'Italia 2011)."
"I'm very happy, I have a great feeling and the team has been impressive. They deserved much more but this victory is for them. Now, I have to recover for Fleche Wallone though perhaps I'll not be in perfect form, but then I'm going to help my teammates. I still have to work to reach my form for the Giro but I think I have enough time," Contador added.
Overnight leader Bauke Mollema of Rabobank was 15 seconds slower than Contador for fourth to lose his overall lead to Tondo. The Spanish cyclist is nine seconds ahead of Dutch rival Mollema with an overall time of 13:31.40 going into Sunday's last stage.
Igor Anton of Euskaltel-Euskadi trails Tondo by 17 seconds in third.