Contador takes silver at Nationals

Sun, 26 Jun 20:22:00 2011

Triple Tour de France champion Alberto Contador secured a silver medal in the Spanish Road Race National Championships in his final appearance before he begins the defence of his Tour title.

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Movistar Jose Joaquin Rojas beat Contador to the line in Sunday's sprint finish and Koldo Fernandez de Larrea of Euskaltel was third.

Contador, who won bronze in Friday's time trial, had been resting since his victory at last month's Giro d'Italia and the Saxo Bank-Sungard rider said he would do the same before the Tour starts on July 2.

"It was not a very hard climb but it was very hot and we covered 210 kilometres which you also feel," the 28-year-old said of Sunday's race north of Valencia.

"We'll have to wait and see what my performance and physical state will be at the Tour, we still don't know," he added.

"I have mainly rested since the Giro and now I'll do the same until the Tour begins."

Contador failed a dope test in last year's Tour but was later cleared by the Spanish cycling federation.

He is allowed to race at least until the Court of Arbitration for Sport rules on an appeal by the International Cycling Union and the World Anti-Doping Agency in August.

If Contador successfully defends his Tour title he will record the first Giro/Tour double since Marco Pantani in 1998.


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