MADRID (AFP) —Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Sungard) won the fourth stage of the Vuelta Castilla y Leon on Saturday, a day after slipping down the overall standings after suffering flat tires.
Xavier Tondo (Movistar) took over the leader’s jersey from Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) after the individual time trial in the northern town of Zamora.
Contador covered the 11.2km in 13 minutes, 42 seconds. Second was his teammate Richie Porte of Australia at one second back, with Tondo third at three seconds.
Contador had been the hot favorite to take his third straight overall victory in the event, having already won the Tour of Murcia and the Tour of Catalonia this year.
But on Friday he lost almost three minutes after suffering two punctures.
After Saturday’s stage, he is in 23rd position overall, 2:37 behind Tondo, who has a nine-second advantage over Mollema.
The five-day race concludes on Sunday with a relatively flat 167.7km ride from Madrigal de las Altas Torres to Medina del Campo.
- 1. Alberto Contador Velasco (Sp), SaxoBank-Sungard, 11.2km in 13:42
- 2. Richie Porte (Aus), SaxoBank-Sungard, at 0:01
- 3. Xavier Tondo Volpini (Sp), Movistar, at 0:02
- 4. Bauke Mollema (Nl), Rabobank Cycling Team, at 0:15
- 5. Alex Dowsett (GB), Team Sky, at 0:19
- 1. Xavier Tondo Volpini (Sp), Movistar, 13:31:39
- 2. Bauke Mollema (Nl), Rabobank Cycling Team, at 0:12
- 3. Igor Anton Hernandez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:18
- 4. Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy), Colnago-CSF, at 0:40
- 5. Jerome Coppel (France), Saur-Sojasun, at 0:47