LA VUELTA DE ESPAÑA
23 imagesAlberto Contador won his second Spanish Vuelta title on Sunday, capturing a fifth triumph at cycling's major races just over a month after his doping ban ended. Vuelta a España 2012 (Tour of Spain) stage 21 is the final race from Cercedilla to Madrid. This final stage is a distance of 115 km on a mostly flat and downhill run into Madrid. After entering Madrid racers will do 10 laps of a 5.7km finishing circuit based in the Plaza de Cibeles on the Paseo del Prado. Alberto Contador, who returned from a two-year doping ban last month, won cycling's Vuelta a Espana for a second time today. The 29-year-old Spaniard, who rides for the Saxo-Bank team, finished ahead of countrymen Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez in the three-week event, which he also won in 2008. Having missed out on this year's Tour as he served his ban, Contador marked his return to major competition with a fearless display that showcased all the characteristics that led to him being called the best rider of his generation. Contador is one of only five riders to have won the Tour, Giro and Vuelta. Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx, Jacques Anquetil and Felice Gimondi have also won all three of cycling's major races.
65 imagesThe stage was won by Denis Menchov, who had been part of a 20-man stage-long breakaway. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who just pipped his countrymen Daniel Moreno and Joaquin Rodriguez, both of Katusha, to the line. Alberto Contador kept the overall leader's red jersey and is closing in on his second Spanish Vuelta title. The 29-year-old Contador is riding in his first grand tour since returning from a drug ban.