Tinkoff-Saxo’s captain Alberto Contador sealed his overall lead at Vuelta a España after winning stage 20 to the feared Puerto de Ancares. Contador followed multiple strong accelerations from Chris Froome and finally attacked his main rival with 500 meters to go, taking 16 seconds plus bonus seconds. He now leads with 1’39’’ going into Sunday's final short time trial.
After the stage, team owner Oleg Tinkov was obviously excited.
“Alberto is a hero. It was a really beautiful stage win and it means that he will win the Vuelta. It is very important to the team and to me personally. If Alberto gets through the stage safely tomorrow, it will be my first Grand Tour win as team owner. I’m very proud of him and I want to thank everybody for their support," commented Oleg Tinkov.
Alberto Contador crashed hard in Tour de France and abandoned the race due to a cracked tibia. In the following weeks, Tinkoff-Saxo supported Alberto Contador in his efforts to recover. And few days prior to the Spanish Grand Tour, Alberto announced that he was ready for the start in Jerez.
“It was definitely not easy. It was a tough injury with following complications. But he fought very hard and was back training as soon as he was able to sit on his bike," added Oleg Tinkov.
Today’s stage lived up to its promises and on the final climb to Ancares it developed into a head-on battle between the favorites. Alberto Contador received strong support from his teammates and Jesús Hernández stayed with his captain on the first part of the final climb until attacks shattered the front group. Just after the stage finish, team manager Bjarne Riis stated that he was proud of the team.
“It was an incredible stage and a very good performance by the team. Once again Alberto showed his strength, he stayed calm and made the move at the right time. You never know if the legs are there or not to win the stage, like he did today, but luckily they were. If he avoids crashing on the TT, he will win overall, which I think is just extraordinary”, concluded Bjarne Riis.
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