Canada wins Tour of Catalonia

Updated: May 21, 2006, 10:10 AM ET
Reuters

BARCELONA -- Spaniard David Canada secured the biggest victory of his 11-year career when he won the Tour of Catalonia on Sunday.

The Saunier Duval-Prodir rider safely negotiated the final stage, a 121-km hilly trek from Lloret de Mar to Barcelona's central Placa Catalunya, to finish 2 seconds ahead of Colombian Santiago Botero.

Frenchman Christophe Moreau was third overall, 8 seconds behind. The final stage was won in a bunch sprint by Italian Daniele Bennati.

"Winning here was complicated, there were lots of decisive moments," said Canada, 31.

"My team, Saunier Duval-Prodir, played a crucial role, they helped me all the way through the final stages. Without them I wouldn't have won overall.

"I've had a number of major injuries and illnesses last year and this spring, but this win at last shows that I'm on the way back at last."

Canada had seized the overall lead on Saturday after his squad successfully isolated former leader Carlos Castano early on the stage.

Injuries and illness have dogged Canada in the last two seasons.

In the 2005 Tour of the Basque Country, he fractured his wrist in two places, and then had to abandon the Tour of Spain when his heart rate shot up to 220 beats per minute.

Diagnosed with Wolf-Parkinson-White condition -- an arrhythmic heart problem -- Canada needed a month off the bike to recover from subsequent surgery.

He then suffered more injuries in the same wrist he had broken five months before, further delaying his return to racing.

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