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Contador takes lead after 17th stage of Vuelta
CAMALENO, Spain — Alberto Contador made an audacious break to win the 17th stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Wednesday and take the overall lead from Joaquin Rodriguez.
The two-time Tour de France champion drew on his experience to make his gutsy break more than 31 miles from the mountain finish, leaving Rodriguez behind. He crossed the finish line 2 minutes, 38 seconds ahead of the previous leader.
Contador erased Rodriguez's 28-second lead entering the 17th stage. He let out two loud cries in celebration as he finished in 4:29:20, closing in on his second Vuelta and first title since returning from a doping ban.
Alejandro Valverde passed Rodriguez to take second in the stage and in the overall standings. The 67th edition of the Spanish race ends Sunday in Madrid.
Stage 17 results
(117-mile ride from Santander to the mountain top finish of Fuente De near Camaleno)
1. Alberto Contador, Spain, SaxoBank, 4 hours, 29 minutes, 20 seconds.
2. Alejandro Valverde, Spain, Movistar, 6 seconds behind.
3. Sergio Luis Henao, Colombia, Team Sky, same time.
4. Gorka Verdugo, Spain, Euskaltel-Euskadi, same time.
5. Rinaldo Nocentini, Italy, Ag2r La Mondiale, :19.
6. Jan Bakelants, Belgium, Radioshack-Nissan, :55.
7. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga, Spain, Movistar, 1:13.
8. Alexandre Geniez, France, Argos-Shimano, 1:40.
9. Paolo Tiralongo, Italy, Astana, 2:13.
10. Joaquin Rodriguez, Spain, Katusha, 2:38.
(After 17 of 21 stages)
1. Alberto Contador, Spain, SaxoBank, 68 hours, 7 minutes, 54 seconds.
2. Alejandro Valverde, Spain, Movistar, 1:52 behind.
3. Joaquin Rodriguez, Spain, Katusha, 2:28.
4. Christopher Froome, Britain, Team Sky, 9:40.
5. Daniel Moreno, Spain, Katusha, 11:36.
6. Robert Gesink, Netherlands, Rabobank, 12:06.
7. Laurens Ten Dam, Netherlands, Rabobank, 12:55.
8. Andrew Talansky, United States, Garmin-Sharp, 13:06.
9. Igor Anton, Spain, Euskadi-Euskaltel, 13:49.
10. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga, Spain, Movistar, 14:10.