Contador takes Basque Country for second year running

Alberto Contador Paris Nice prologue 2009

Alberto Contador continued racking up the victories on Saturday with a classy win in the Tour of the Basque Country, his second straight victory in the race in as many years.

The Astana rider had no problems whatsoever in the final time trial, which he won by 22 seconds over Spain?s Tony Colom (Katusha) and 45 seconds on Basque rider and Olympic gold medallist Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi).

The three riders also made up the podium, with Contador finally victorious by 30 seconds ahead of Colom and 53 on Sanchez.

Contador had moved into the lead in the mountain top finish stage at Eibar and then kept control of the race to the finale.

The Basque Country is Contador?s last race of the first part of the season, in which he has also won the Tour of the Algarve and two stages of Paris-Nice.

The Spaniard will now ease off until he takes part in the Dauphine Libere, his only stage race prior to the Tour de France.

British rider Ben Swift (Katusha), briefly the leader of the points competition, finally finished fourth overall in that classification after consistent racing all week.

Swift?s great riding has not gone un-noticed by the team management at Katusha, with even the notoriously tough former pro. Andrei Tchmil, one of the squad's directors, being impressed by the first year pro.

?It was a great ride by Ben, we?d expected him to do well when we signed him but he's proved he?s got it and he's been fighting hard. Ever since the early season he?s been going well,? Tchmil told Cycling Weekly.


Ben Swift third in Pais Vasco

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