Alberto Contador moves closer to Vuelta triumph after stage 16 win
Madrid, Sep 9 (IANS) Alberto Contador took an important step towards winning the Vuelta de Espana (Tour of Spain) cycle race after winning stage 16. Contador won by 15 seconds ahead of Chris Froome, who had begun the day in third place and over a minute behind second placed Alejandro Valverde, to stamp his dominance on the race Monday.
Stage 16 was always set up to be the decisive stage in the three-week long race with five first category climbs in just under 160 kilometres. It was also touted be a war of attrition between the four race favourites and their respective teams with a sideshow made by any escapees brave enough to try for the stage win.
That was effectively the case and by the final climb of the day all of the riders who had been involved in breakaways had been chased down by the race favourites.
Froome had been riding his way into form over the race and knowing he needed to start chipping at Contador's lead, the British rider launched an attack on the final slopes only for Contador to ride him down and overtake him to claim the win, which is all the more surprising given that just two months earlier he had broken a leg in the Tour de France.
Tuesday is a rest day as the riders have a well-deserved chance to give their legs 24 hours rest ahead of Wednesday's 190km stage to La Coruna.