Saturday, February 21, 2009

Contador makes early-season mark in Algarve

Alberto Contador, winner of the 2007 Tour de France and last year's Giro
d'Italia and Vuelta a España, took an early-season victory Saturday in
Portugal's Volta ao Algarve. The Spaniard of Astana won the 33.7-kilometre
stage four time trial in Tavira and moved into the overall race leadership.

Contador made his bid for the overall win by finishing second in yesterday's
uphill finish to Malhão. He started today's test four seconds down on
overnight race leader Antonio Colom (Katusha).

He finished the time trial in 44:05; he was 33 seconds ahead of France's
Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) and 36 seconds on teammate Andreas Klöden.
Briton David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream) finished in ninth.

The final stage is not likely to change the overall standings. The riders
will faces 168.8 kilometres from Vila Bispo to Portimão tomorrow – the only
categorised climb comes midway into the stage.


1 Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana
2 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step
3 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana
4 Tiago Machado (Por) Madeinox-Boavista
5 Rubén Plaza (Spa) Liberty Seguros
6 Tony Martin (Ger) Columbia-Highroad
7 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Columbia-Highroad
8 Ignas Konovalovas (Ltu) Cervélo TestTeam
9 David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Slipstream
10 Antonio Colom (Spa) Katusha
General classification after stage 4
1 Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana
2 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step
3 Rubén Plaza (Spa) Liberty Seguros

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