Alberto Contador Wins 2011 Giro d'Italia
Team Saxo Bank-SunGard's Alberto Contador has won the Giro d'Italia for the second time, easily capturing the race after finishing third in the final stage 21 time trial.
Team Saxo Bank-SunGard's Alberto Contador secured his second Giro d'Italia title earlier today, beating his closest rival by more than six minutes after finishing third in the final individual time trial.
The Spaniard pounded his chest and celebrated with his traditional pistol shot gesture as he finished the 16-mile individual time trial around Milan in 30 minutes, 49 seconds, trailing stage winner David Millar (Team Garmin-Cervélo) by 36 seconds.
"I wasn't really thinking about winning the final time trial when this Giro started, but I started to feel better as the Giro went on and then I really wanted to win today," stage winner Millar told Roadcycling.com and added "I felt good in the first kilometer. And I could keep up a consistent speed throughout the stage. It's a great way to finish the Giro for me and the team."
"It really meant a lot to me to have the pink jersey, especially after what happened to Wouter Weylandt. It was a real honor to wear the jersey that day we rode in honor of Wouter," Millar continued, referring to the tragic death of Belgian rider Wouter Weylandt in stage 3. "I felt like a real racer again in this Giro. I was on the attack, I won the pink jersey, I won a stage and I helped out my team."
"It is an amazing feeling to win the Giro d'Italia here today and it is a dream finale," Contador told Roadcycling.com and our mobile sister site Roadcycling.mobi and continued "My team was really supportive throughout and we didn't really (ever) have a bad day."
Contador added to his 2008 Giro title by finishing with an overall time of 84:05:14, beating Michele Scarponi (Team Lampre) by 06:10. Vincenzo Nibali (Team Liquigas-Cannondale) was third, another 46 seconds back.
"Myself and Vincenzo fought to the end, but it wasn't to be," Scarponi told reporters and added "Alberto Contador was stronger than all of us. He's stronger than everyone. I'm happy with second though and I've had a good Giro d'Italia."
The win gave Contador his sixth grand tour victory and opened up the possibility he could try for a sweep of the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Spanish Vuelta a Espana titles in a single season. He won the Tour de France in 2007, 2009 and 2010, and the Vuelta a Espana in 2008.
Looming over his season are the appeals filed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
They are challenging the Spanish cycling federation's decision to clear Contador of doping at last year's Tour de France. He blames his positive test for clenbuterol on eating contaminated beef.
The CAS postponed the original June 6-8 hearing date and has yet to set new dates.
"It's a huge win for Alberto and for the entire team and obviously, I'm immensely proud of our achievements. Alberto has shown incredible stability and that's the main reason that he's so successful. Besides from winning overall, he wins the point classification and is second in the