Cycling

Contador wins Vuelta title

Alberto Condator victorious in Spain. (Jaime Reina, AFP)
Alberto Condator victorious in Spain. (Jaime Reina, AFP)

Santiago de Compostela - Alberto Contador won his third Vuelta a Espana as Italian Adriano Malori took victory on the final stage 9.7km time trial in Santiago de Compostela on Sunday.

Spaniard Contador finished 1:40 down on Malori on the rain-affected course as he took no chances.

But although he lost 27 seconds to Chris Froome, he did enough to add to his 2008 and 2012 Vuelta victories, taking his Grand Tour successes to six.

New Zealander Jesse Sergent and Australia's Rohan Dennis were second and third on the stage at 8 seconds and 9 seconds respectively.

But the day belonged to Contador whose gritty win on Saturday's 20th stage at Puerto de Ancares set the seal on an incredible triumph.

It was less than two months ago that the 31-year-old broke his leg in a crash that forced him out of the Tour de France.

Froome, too, broke his hand and wrist in a crash that also ended his defence of the Grand Boucle he won in 2013, but he did not recover as well or as quickly as Contador.

Neither managed a particularly impressive final timetrial but that was mostly down to the weather.

While Malori, the Italian timetrial champion, set off and came home in 11min 12sec under blue skies, sunshine and on a dry course, that was not the case for everyone.

A torrential downpour seriously hampered the middle order and by the time the favourites set off at the end, the roads were still wet, making the tricky, technical course treacherous.

Final classification from Vuelta a Espana:

1. Alberto Contador (Spain / Tinkoff - Saxo) 81:25:05";
2. Chris Froome (Britain / Team Sky) +1:10";
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spain / Movistar) +1:50";
4. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain / Katusha) +3:25";
5. Fabio Aru (Italy / Astana) +4:48";
6. Samuel Sanchez (Spain / BMC Racing) +9:30";
7. Daniel Martin (Ireland / Garmin) +10:38";
8. Warren Barguil (France / Giant) +11:50";
9. Damiano Caruso (Italy / Cannondale) +12:50";
10. Daniel Navarro (Spain / Cofidis) +13:02";
11. Daniel Moreno (Spain / Katusha) +16:44";
12. Mikel Nieve (Spain / Team Sky) +19:54";
13. Romain Sicard (France / Europcar) +24:20";
14. Wilco Kelderman (Netherlands / Belkin) +25:04";
15. Giampaolo Caruso (Italy / Katusha) +25:27";
16. Maxime Monfort (Belgium / Lotto) +29:52";
17. Sergio Pardilla (Spain / Team MTN-Qhubeka) +32:00";
18. Dominik Nerz (Germany / BMC Racing) +37:25";
19. Luis Angel Mate (Spain / Cofidis) +42:04";
20.David Arroyo (Spain / Caja Rural) +52:51";
21. Jesus Hernandez (Spain / Tinkoff - Saxo) +55:06";
22. Christophe Le Mevel (France / Cofidis) +55:53";
23. Oliver Zaugg (Switzerland / Tinkoff - Saxo) +57:28";
24. Ryder Hesjedal (Canada / Garmin) +1:05:25";
25. Andre Cardoso (Portugal / Garmin) +1:07:37";
26. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Poland / Lampre) +1:11:31";
27. Winner Anacona (Colombia / Lampre) +1:11:34";
28. Mikel Landa (Spain / Astana) +1:11:52";
29. Chris Sorensen (Denmark / Tinkoff - Saxo) +1:23:47" 
30. Andrey Amador (Costa Rica / Movistar) +1:30:29"

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