Contador rolls to another stage win, remains in Spanish Vuelta lead

Updated: September 14, 2008, 1:40 PM ET
Associated Press

FUENTES DE INVIERNO, Spain -- Alberto Contador of Spain extended his lead in the Spanish Vuelta on Sunday, edging American Levi Leipheimer by 2 seconds to win the 14th stage.

The Spaniard finished the 98-mile leg from Oviedo to Fuentes de Invierno in 4 hours, 16 minutes, 1 second after a grueling climb up the 4,921-foot San Isidro peak.

Contador leads Leipheimer, his Astana teammate, by 1:17 in the overall standings. Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre of Spain is third overall, 3:41 behind.

"I'm in a very sweet moment and I have to make the best I can of it. You can't let these opportunities go by," Contador said.

Winner of last year's Tour de France and this year's Giro d'Italia, Contador knew other Spanish riders would mount a challenge during Sunday's stage.

Sastre, who rides for CSC, tried to keep up with Contador until San Isidro, but was left behind when his rival turned up the speed.

"I saw Contador go off like Sputnik," he said. "I tried to carve out the best possible time for myself, but so many days into the race it's hard."

Monday's 15th stage is a 126-mile leg from Cudillero to Ponferrada that includes a climb up the 4,856-foot Somiedo.

The Vuelta -- considered cycling's third biggest race behind the Tour and the Giro -- finishes with a ride down Madrid's central Castellana boulevard next Sunday.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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