Cycling-Contador fourth in Portugal on return to competition


Sun, 20 Feb 20:45:00 2011

German rider Tony Martin won the Tour of Algarve on Sunday with Tour de France champion Alberto Contador finishing fourth on his return to competition after his provisional one-year ban for doping was lifted.

Martin won the 17-km time trial between Lagoa and Portimao to lift the trophy with a 32-second overall lead over his Dutch team mate Tejay van Garderen.

Contador, who was defending his title, had been in second place since Thursday but dropped to fourth after finishing the time trial 45 seconds slower than Martin.

The three-time Tour de France champion had been suspended provisionally since August after testing positive for a small amount of the banned anabolic agent clenbuterol, but the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFCEC) on Tuesday lifted the ban.

Contador, whose battle to clear his name may not yet be over with cycling's world governing body still to decide whether to appeal.

The 28 year-old Spaniard said on Wednesday that he has yet to decide with his team director whether he will defend his Tour de France title in July.


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