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Contador wins Vuelta

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

Contador wins Vuelta

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SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain (AP) – Two months after exiting the Tour de France with a leg fracture, Alberto Contador rebounded in style by winning his sixth grand tour title after protecting his lead on the 21st and final stage of the Spanish Vuelta cycling race today.

The Tinkoff-Saxo rider won his home race for a third time, to go with two Tour de France victories and one Giro d’Italia title.

Contador entered the concluding 9.7-kilometre (six-mile) individual time trial with a healthy lead of one minute, 37 seconds over fellow former Tour de France winner Chris Froome and focused on avoiding any slips on the rain-slick streets.

Adriano Malori of Italy won the stage, taking advantage of his early start under dry conditions before a shower burst over the medieval city of Santiago de Compostela.

Froome, who also entered the race after injuries forced him to withdraw from the Tour, finished the race second.

Former winner Alejandro Valverde completed the podium.

Contador’s first grand tour win was at the Giro in 2008, the same year he won the Vuelta for the first time. He won the Vuelta a second time in 2012.

The 31-year-old Spaniard won the Tour in 2007 and 2009, but was stripped of a third Tour win 2010 for doping. He has now won two major titles since then, both at the Vuelta.

Contador had concentrated on reclaiming the Tour this year, but his plans were dashed when he fell during its tenth stage and fractured his right shin on July 15. He withdrew and soon after said that he wouldn’t be in shape to ride in the Vuelta either.