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Astana's Alberto Contador wins second Paris-Nice title

Alberto Contador
Contador will aim for a third Tour de France title this summer

Alberto Contador successfully defended his lead over the final stage to claim his second Paris-Nice title.

The Spaniard clung on to an attack from compatriot Alejandro Valverde to finish 10th as part of a small group behind French stage winner Amael Moinard.

Contador was 11 seconds clear of Valverde overall with Luis Leon Sanchez completing an all-Spanish podium.

David Millar was the best-placed Briton in 13th, while Team Sky's Simon Gerrans was 15th in the final standings.

Contador, who previously won the title in 2007, started the day 14 seconds clear of Valverde and added a bonus second to his lead through a sprint section of the 73.8 mile course.


Caisse d'Epargne's Valverde pulled back another four seconds with a sprint bonus of his own but, despite working with team-mate Sanchez, never looked like decisively breaking away from the Astana rider.

Earlier the Kazakh team had allowed Moinard and Thomas Voeckler to break clear over the first of three category-one climbs.

The pair, who represented no threat to Contador's overall lead, continued unchallenged over the second climb before the chasing pack closed towards the finish.

"It's very hard to win Paris-Nice, even more so when you are the most-watched rider in the race," said Contador.

"I absolutely wanted to win. I feel liberated because today's stage was very tense and very nervy.

"With the lead I had it would have been a shame to lose because of sprint bonuses, so I had to be very attentive."

Contador will begin his defence of his Tour de France title on 3 July.

1. Amael Moinard (Fra/Cofidis) 2 hours 52 minutes 9 seconds

2. Thomas Voeckler (Fra/Bbox - Bouygues) same time

3. Alejandro Valverde (Esp/Caisse d'Epargne) +3 seconds

4. Nicolas Roche (Ire/AG2R) same time

5. Rein Taaramaee (Est/Cofidis)

6. Joaquim Rodriguez (Esp/Katusha)

7. Jens Voigt (Ger/Saxo Bank)

8. Chris Horner (US/RadioShack)

9. Janez Brajkovic (Slo/RadioShack)

10. Alberto Contador (Esp/Astana)

Overall standings:

1. Alberto Contador (Esp/Astana) 28 hours 35 minutes 35 seconds

2. Alejandro Valverde (Esp/Caisse d'Epargne) +11 seconds

3. Luis Leon Sanchez (Esp/Caisse d'Epargne) +25 seconds

4. Roman Kreuziger (Cze/Liquigas) +26 seconds

5. Samuel Sanchez (Esp/Euskaltel) +30 seconds

6. Jens Voigt (Ger/Saxo Bank) +35 seconds

7. Joaquim Rodriguez (Esp/Katusha) +37 seconds

8. Rein Taaramaee (Est/Cofidis) +1 minute 7 seconds

9. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra/Omega Pharma - Lotto)+1:16

10. Jerome Coppel (Fra/Saur - Sojasun) +1:17

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see also
Contador seizes Paris-Nice lead
11 Mar 10 |  Cycling
Sky gain first major European win
08 Mar 10 |  Cycling
Belgian rider in whirlwind crash
07 Mar 10 |  Cycling
How the 2009 Tour was won
26 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Contador seals 2009 Tour victory
26 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Contador moves closer to Tour win
22 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Contador would welcome Armstrong
10 Sep 08 |  Cycling

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