Contador Wins Tirreno-Adriatico

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03/19/2014| 0 comments
by AP and
Tirreno-Adriatico winner Alberto Contador with second place finisher Nairo Quintana and third place finisher Roman Kreuziger Fotoreporter Sirotti

Contador Wins Tirreno-Adriatico

Earlier today Team Tinkoff-Saxo Bank's Alberto Contador won the 2014 edition of the weeklong Tirreno-Adriatico cycling race to signal a return to form after a meager 2013 season without a victory in stage races.

The five-time Grand Tour winner finished 2 minutes, 5 seconds ahead of Team Movistar's Tour de France runner-up Nairo Quintana in the general classification. Contador's teammate Roman Kreuziger placed third, 2:14 behind.

Adriano Malori, an Italian with Movistar, won the concluding 9.1 kilometer (5.7-mile) individual time trial in 00:10:13.

Contador won mountain stages on Saturday and Sunday in dominating fashion. His last major win was the 2012 Spanish Vuelta a Espana.

"This race meant a lot to me," said Contador, who opened the season by finishing second overall to Omega Pharma-QuickStep's Michal Kwiatkowski in the Tour of Algarve last month.

"I came to this race wanting to win it. I wasn’t happy at Arezzo when when I lost 6 seconds to Sagan and Kwiatkowski, because I thought those seconds might be decisive. But in the end I’ve won by a matter of minutes, so I’m very happy."

Contador won the Tour de France in 2007 and 2009, and then had his 2010 title stripped for doping. He's planning to challenge defending champion Chris Froome (Team Sky Pro Cycling) in this year's Tour de France.

"Right now I'm thinking about next week and the Tour of Catalonia," Contador explained and added "Then I'll think about the Tour and Vuelta."

Swiss cyclist Fabian Cancellara finished second in the time trial, six seconds behind Malori, and Olympic champion and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins was third, 11 seconds back.

Contador finished 29 seconds behind Malori in the stage without taking any risks.

"I knew I could put down a great time," said 26-year-old Malori, who also won a time trial in the Tour de San Luis in Argentina in January. "This year has started really well for me. I've made a real jump in quality."

Many riders used the race as a warmup for Sunday's 2014 Milano-San Remo Spring classic.

After struggling in Tirreno-Adriatico, 2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans withdrew before the final stage to return home and resume training for the 2014 Giro d'Italia.

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