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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 July 2007, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Tour de France 2008



Alberto Contador
Contador sweeps past the Arc de Triomphe on his way to victory
Spain's Alberto Contador steered clear of trouble on the cobbled streets of the Champs-Elysees to seal overall victory in the 2007 Tour de France.

The Discovery Channel rider maintained his 23-second lead over Australian Cadel Evans, with American team-mate Levi Leipheimer taking third place.

Italy's Daniele Bennati took victory on the final stage into Paris.

The race was marred by several positive doping tests as well as the sacking of race leader Michael Rasmussen.

The Dane seemed destined for victory after dominating in the mountains but was sent home by his Rabobank team for lying about his whereabouts in the build-up to the race.

Pre-race favourite Alexandre Vinokourov was dumped out of the Tour after testing positive for blood doping following two stage wins in three days while Cristian Moreni and Patrik Sinkewitz also failed drugs tests.

606: DEBATE

The 24-year-old Contador is the youngest winner since Jan Ullrich in 1997 and the first Spanish victor since Miguel Indurain in 1995.

His margin of victory was also the narrowest since Greg Lemond beat Laurent Fignon by eight seconds in 1989.

"There were hard times," said Contador, who was riding in only his seond Tour de France after finishing 31st in 2005.

"Saturday's time trial was very hard. I had to fight but it was worth it, it's marvellous."

Belgian Tom Boonen won the green jersey for the most consistent finisher, while Colombian Juan Mauricio Soler Hernandez won the polka dot jersey as the king of the mountains.

Contador's triumph is all the more remarkable given he spent 10 days in a coma in 2002 after suffering swelling to the brain following a crash in the Tour of Asturias.

I think we've seen the future of Spanish cycling and perhaps international cycling

Lance Armstrong

"It really marked me for life," said Contador, reflecting on the illness. "But it allows me to better savour this moment."

Seven-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong was in Paris to see Contador triumph, and he said: "I think we've seen the future of Spanish cycling and perhaps international cycling."

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone was on the winner's podium as Contador was presented with the yellow jersey.

Charles Wegelius was the highest-placed British finisher in 45th position, with David Millar 69th and Geraint Thomas, the youngest rider in the race, 140th on his Tour debut.

Over a million people lined the streets of London when the Tour de France started there three weeks ago.


Stage 20 result
1 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Lampre 3hr 51 mins 03 secs
2 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole ) "
3 Erik Zabel (Ger) Milram "
4 Robert Hunter (SA) Barloworld "
5 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick-Step ) "
6 Sebastien Chavanel (Fra) Francaise des Jeux "
7 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC "
8 David Millar (GB) Saunier Duval "
9 Robert Foerster (Ger) Gerolsteiner "
10 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) Liquigas "

Selected others
114 Charles Wegelius (GB) Liquigas +15secs
133 Geraint Thomas (GB) Barloworld +51 sec


Final overall standings
1 Alberto Contador (Spa) Discovery Channel 91hr 26 sec
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor-Lotto +23 sec
3 Levi Leipheimer (US) Discovery Channel +31
4 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC +7:08
5 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel +8:17
6 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne +11:37
7 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile +12:18
8 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel +12:25
9 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Euskaltel +14:14
10 Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne +14:25

Selected others
45 Charles Wegelius (GB) Liquigas +1hr 46min 25sec
69 David Millar (GB) Saunier Duval-Prodirr +2:32.07
140 Geraint Thomas (GB) Barloworld +3:46.51


Green jersey (Sprinters) standings
1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick-Step ) 256 points
2 Robert Hunter (SA) Barloworld 234
3 Erik Zabel (Ger) Milram 232


Polka dot jersey (King of the Mountains) standings
1 Mauricio Soler (Col) Barloworld 206 points
2 Alberto Contador (Spa) Discovery Channel 128
3 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel 105


White jersey (Best youth) standings
1 Alberto Contador (Spa) 91hr 26 sec
2 Mauricio Soler (Col) Barloworld +16:51 sec
3 Amets Txurruka (Spa) Euskaltel +49:34



SEE ALSO
Tour de France photos
29 Jul 07 |  Cycling
Stage 20 at it happened
29 Jul 07 |  Cycling
B-sample confirms Vino positive
28 Jul 07 |  Cycling
Tour is null and void - Wiggins
27 Jul 07 |  Cycling
No Tour champ this year - LeMond
27 Jul 07 |  Cycling


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