Contador Climbs to Stage Victory and Increases Overall Vuelta Lead
Alberto Contador (Team Astana) today took his second mountaintop finish victory in a row, this time 2 seconds ahead of teammate Levi Leipheimer. Contador and Leipheimer were the only two riders to follow Xacobeo Galicia's Ezequiel Mosquera in stage 14's climb to Fuentes de Invierno.
Racing in the golden leader's jersey, Contador defended his overall Vuelta lead by attacking in the last km, thereby increasing his overall Vuelta lead. Carlos Sastre (Team CSC-Saxo Bank) finished the stage in sixth place and is now third in the overall rankings, 03:41 behind Contador. Leipheimer remains second, 01:17 behind his teammate.
Contador, who is attempting to win his third Grand Tour, after previously winning the Tour de France in 2007 and the Giro d'Italia earlier this year, was extremely pleased with today's performance. "We were happy with yesterday's result on El Angliru, but knew we had to take more time on our competitors. Luckily, we recovered well and were not only able to increase the time differences, but also win another stage."
Contador added that "Ezequiel had a great day and we can't forget that he is a dangerous competitor; currently in fourth place after finishing last year's race in fifth. He did most of the work aiming to come closer in the GC – we could take advantage of it – but that was no reason to give him the victory. For our fans, we need to win ourselves, as much as possible. Now we need to focus on controlling the race. We have a nice advantage, but we know attacks will come each day until we get to Madrid."
Going into the last week of Vuelta racing, Team Astana has secured three stage wins and currently holds the leader, points and combination jerseys (all worn by Contador).