Alberto Contador (Astana) has won the 2010 Tour of the Algarve in Portugal after placing second behind Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d’Epargne) in the race’s final individual time trial stage on Sunday.
Contador finished the stage 13 seconds adrift of Sanchez, but it was enough to give the 2009 Tour de France champion his second consecutive victory in the five-day Portuguese stage race.
Contador’s performance in the TT was all the more remarkable as the Spaniard’s Specialized Shiv time trial bike had been judged illegal by the UCI. A replacement bike was drafted in at the eleventh hour.
Third spot in the test against the clock went to Saturday’s stage winner, Sebastien Rosseler (RadioShack) – the first of three RadioShack riders in the day’s top ten.
Sanchez’s TT win gave him second place overall, 30 seconds behind Contador, with RadioShack’s Tiago Machado taking third at 32 seconds.
Britain’s David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) – our tip for a top ten place in the TT – crashed heavily during the stage, and finished bloodied and battered. He finished in 133rd spot, five minutes and 47 seconds behind Sanchez, and 104th overall.
Tour of the Algarve 2010: Stage five
1. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 17.2km in 21-32
2. Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana at 13secs
3. Sebastien Rosseler (Bel) RadioShack at 16secs
4. Levi Leipheimer (USA) RadioShack at 22secs
5. Frantisek Rabon (Cze) HTC-Columbia at 23secs
6. Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack at 30secs
7. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 35secs
8. Rui Costa (Por) Caisse d’Epargne at 44secs
9. Irmanol Erviti (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne at 46secs
10. Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank at 48secs
Final overall classification
1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana in 19-57-48
2. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne at 30secs
3. Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack at 32secs
4. Levi Leipheimer (USA) RadioShack at 37secs
5. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 57secs
6. Rui Costa (Por) Caisse d’Epargne at 1-11
7. Frantisek Rabon (Cze) HTC-Columbia at 1-16
8. Andreas Kloden (Ger) RadioShack at 1-25
9. Tejay van Garderen (USA) Team HTC-Columbia at 1-33
10. Peter Velits (Svk) HTC-Columbia at 1-45
Britain’s David Millar crashed during the stage
Luis Leon Sanchez on his way to winning the final time trial in the Algarve
Alberto Contador repeats his 2009 victory in the Tour of the Algarve