Eurosport - Sun, 18 Apr 17:48:00 2010
Portuguese rider Sergio Ribeiro (Barbot-Siper) won the 171.6km stage from Samos to Santiago de Compostela in a sprint over the Spanish duo of Alberto Benitez (Footon-Servetto) and Angel Vicioso (Andalucia-Cajasur).
And Contador was in the pack immediately behind the stage leaders crossing the line to wrap up victory in the general classification by 41 seconds over fellow Spaniards Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia).
Yet the reigning Tour de France champion now faces a race by car and train across Europe as he attempts to make it to Fleche Wallone race in Belgium on Wednesday.
Astana's Alberto Contador took control of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon in Spain after blitzing the field in the 15km time trial fourth stage in Ponferrada.The reigning Tour de France champion finished more than 30 seconds clear of his nearest rival on the day to build a 41-second lead in the general classification.
RadioShack's Janez Brajkovic finished second in the stage while Euskaltel's Igor Anton, who held the leader's maroon jersey going into the fourth day, was third some 54 seconds behind Contador.
Xacobeo Galicia's Ezequiel Mosquera, sixth in the time trial, hung on to third place in the general classification ahead of Brajkovic.
Sunday's 171.6km final stage is from Samos to Santiago de Compostela.
Igor Anton took the overall lead in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon after powering to a fantastic mountain-top victory in the third stage of the race in Spain.
The Euskatel rider attacked Astana's Alberto Contado and Caisse d'Epargne's Juan Maurizio Soler with 2km left of the 159km stage from Leon to Ponferrada, and had the legs to open up a 13-second winning margin as he crossed the line after an action-packed finish to a windy, rainy stage that saw several riders make bids for the win.
Anton takes over the maroon leader's jersey from Dutchman Theo Bos, who had won the opening two stages of the race. He leads Contador and Xacobeo Galicia's Ezequiel Mosquera by 13 seconds going into Saturday's time trial.
Reigning Tour de France champion Contador chose to take the positives out of the result, despite his narrow defeat.
“For me it is a good result. At the end it was 13 seconds, which is not a lot, but we will see tomorrow how it turns the time trial," Contador said.
"I knew there would be wind, but it's the same conditions for each rider. When I saw how strong Igor attacked, I was a little more conservative, thinking also about the riders I had on my wheel. I was aware of what was happening behind me and was conscious not to let Igor take too many seconds”.
Dutchman Theo Bos made it two in two at the Vuelta Castilla y Lyon with a second-stage win on Thursday.
The Cervelo Test Team rider won the 209.9km between Burgos and Carrion de los Condes in a field sprint.
Spain's two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador (Astana) finished seventh in the same time to move up from 19th to seventh in the race's general classification.
Contador, a favourite for the Tour de France in July, won the event in 2007 and 2008.
Theo Bos of the Cervelo Test Team took the opening stage of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon after a sprint finish in Burgos, northern Spain.
The Dutch former track rider edged Graeme Brown (Rabobank) and Pablo Urtasun (Euskaltel-Euskadi) after the 157.7 kilometre stage between Belorado and Burgos to take the leaders jersey.
Iban Mayoz (Footon), Jose Toribio (Andalucía CajaSur) and Marcos García (Xacobeo) were in the first break of the day after 15km before being replaced at the front by Oleg Chuzdha (Caja Rural) and Mikel Ilundain (Orbea) soon after.
That pair were caught with 10km remaining, allowing Bos to demonstrate his sprinting expertise and claim victory.
"We decided today that we would work for me in the sprint. The plan was that we rode the last 25 kilometres full gas to hold everything together," said Bos after the race.
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