Alberto Contador finishes fourth


PORTIMAO, Portugal -- Tony Martin of Germany won the Tour of the Algarve with a strong sprint in the final stage Sunday to deny Alberto Contador his third straight title at the race, the Spaniard's first competition since escaping a doping ban.

Martin won the 10-mile time trial in 20 minutes, 53 seconds to claim the title with an overall time of 18 hours, 48 minutes, 45 seconds.

Contador placed 15th in the final stage and finished fourth overall, 41 seconds behind Martin.

"The time trial did not come out quite right, but to be here is already a triumph," said Contador, the Tour de France champion. "I think I had a good performance for the first race. I've read in a newspaper that I had gone 205 days without racing, and that is too long."

Contador tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol at last year's Tour. The Spanish cycling federation initially had proposed a one-year ban before accepting his claim that he unintentionally ate contaminated meat.