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by Matt de Neef
August 8, 2016
In your Monday edition of the CT Daily News Digest: Anna van der Breggen takes gold in women’s Olympic road race; Greg van Avermaet sprints to road gold at Rio Olympics; Alberto Contador fires Vuelta warning shot with Vuelta a Burgos victory; Amy Pieters takes Route de France lead with prologue victory; Rui Vinhas wins the Volta a Portugal; Annemiek van Vleuten crashes out of Olympic medal contention in horror fall; Porte, Nibali and Henao all suffer fractures in men’s Olympic road race; Brazilian drug testing programme was halted in Olympics lead-up; Russian athletes banned from the Rio Paralympics; Roadtripping the Mawson Trail – the film.
Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) might have crashed out of the Tour de France last month but the wily Spaniard has shown he’ll be one of the riders to beat at the Vuelta a Espana later this month.
Contador had been 25th coming into the final stage of the Vuelta a Burgos, but the 33-year-old turned things around on stage 5 of the Spanish race, to win the overall. With 4km to go in the stage’s summit finish, Sergio Pardilla (Caja Rural) went off the front and would ultimately go on to win the stage. Contador bided his time, waiting until the last moment to dash away from his rivals to finish second, 17 seconds behind Pardilla and five seconds ahead of third-placed Ben Hermans (BMC).
The result put Contador just one second clear at the top of the GC by the end of the stage.
“It was all very, very close, much more so than I expected,” Contador said afterwards. “To tell the truth, I had no idea if I could win, I have had a very high pulse rate all this week, particularly in the [stage 2] team time trial, and today I said I wouldn’t look at it anymore on the monitor and just went for it instead.”
The Vuelta a Burgos was Contador’s first stage race back since abandoning the Tour on stage 9 after a series of crashes earlier in the race. He will line-up at the Vuelta a Espana on August 20 with hopes of winning a fourth overall title.