ALBERTO CONTADOR’S stellar performance throughout the entire Vuelta a España has resulted in a well-deserved third title win on Sunday.
Wet conditions during Sunday’s closing stage in Santiago de Compostela resulted in Contador losing 27 seconds to the UK’s Chris Froome, but despite this set back his performance throughout the Vuelta meant that he still finished one minute and 10 seconds in front of the Brit, securing his third Vuelta a España title in six years.
Speaking to the BBC, Contador said: “It’s a dream for me to win three Vueltas, I really was not expecting it.”
The final 9.7km time trial stage in Santiago de Compostela was won by Adriano Malori of Team Movistar in 11 minutes and 12 seconds, beating Trek Factory Racing’s Jesse Sergent by eight seconds.
Contador had won Saturday’s Stage 20 to all but secure victory. Froome had a lot of work to do and ultimately Contador’s overall performance proved too much him.
Both Froome and the Spaniard, however, can be proud of their achievements during the competition: both having suffered nasty injuries during the Tour de France, forcing early retirement. Contador broke his leg in a crash, and Froome his hand and wrist in a separate incident.
Contador said: “These past two months, I have had a lot of ups and downs and the support of the fans has been crucial.
“I am extremely pleased and just want to thank the team as without them this win would have been impossible.”
Froome, also speaking to the BBC, spoke of his motivation: “I think given how I’ve come into this race, I couldn’t be happier with this result.
“I didn’t know if I was coming here to fight for top 10, to fight for the podium or to fight for the win, so this is really going to give me a lot of motivation going forward.
“We can take away a lot from this race.”
1. Alberto Contador (Spa/Tinkoff-Saxo) 81 hours 25 minutes 5 seconds
2. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +1:10″
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +1:50″
4. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa/Katusha) +3:25″
5. Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana) +4:48″
6. Samuel Sanchez (Spa/BMC Racing) +9:30″
7. Daniel Martin (Ire/Garmin) +10:38″
8. Warren Barguil (Fra/Giant) +11:50″
9. Damiano Caruso (Ita/Cannondale) +12:50″
10. Daniel Navarro (Spa/Cofidis) +13:02″