Alberto Contador leading the third stages of Volta a Catalunya

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Weston Kelsey

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  • Alberto Contador leading the third stages of Volta a Catalunya

Alberto Contador leading the third stages of Volta a Catalunya

The three-time Tour de France winner, Alberto Contador of the Saxo Bank-SunGard team won the 189.4 kilometre third stage of the Tour of California on Wednesday, 23 March, 2011.

The Wednesday’s stage victory came just a day before the dead-line to the UCI’s final decision about Cotador’s fate, which also took the Saxo Bank-SunGard rider clang to the overall lead at the seven-day event.

This could be Contador’s last event in his international sporting career provided he’s charged guilty; yet indeed he proved his will not to go down without a fight. The 29-year-old raced off the overall favorites to the adventurous climbs of Andorra, crossing the finish-line 23 seconds ahead of the followers.

Reaching the final climb, there were 50 riders in the pack as Contador finally chose to make a long attack on the challengers. With just five kilometres to the snow-lined finish at the Vallnord-Pal Ski-station, the Spaniard took a risk as he sprinted ahead flock worth his efforts paid him well off.

“At five kilometers to go there were still 50 riders in the pack and I knew that there was the hardest part left, so I attacked,” said the Saxo Bank-SunGard rider after the win.

Contador kept a solid pace to stay in control at the climb as the RadioShack’s American rider Levi Leipheimer continued to prove his guts to clang onto the overall lead. Leipheimer somehow could only manage to finish third in the stage, 23 seconds behind Contador along with Michele Scarponi from the team Lampre-ISD at second.

Despite the dope charges, the fan-following had not yet faded away for the mature rider as he went past the finish-line with his arms open to claim his fourth 2011 season’s victory so far. There were huge banners brought in by the fans awaiting their star on the victory-line reading, “Alberto you’re not alone, the fans are still with you,” relating to the UCI’s doping case.

The top-five finishes of the stage three from La Ball de’en Bas to Vallnord-Pal are as follows;

1.    Alberto Contador Velasco from Spain of Saxo Bank Sungard team, 4:45:31

2.    Michele Scarponi, from Italy of Lampre-Isd team at 0:23

3.    Levi Leipheime from United States of Radioshack team, at 0:23

4.    Daniel Martin from Ireland of Garmin-Cervelo team, at 0:35

5.    Christopher Horner from United State of Radioshack team, at 0:35

Contador was zealous to have his eyes set on the tournament win as he said, “It's a very prestigious race, and one which I haven't got in my palmers.”“But there are four very long stages left to go, and we'll have to take it day by day.”

    However, the seven-day event finishes on Sunday 27 March, Contador was determined and highly motivated after this stage win.




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