Contador leads Vuelta after fourth place finish in time trial

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Contador leads Vuelta after fourth place finish in time trial

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Spain’s Alberto Contador took the overall race lead at the Vuelta a Espana on Tuesday following a fourth-place finish on stage ten’s time trial.

There was a major shake up in the fight for the overall lead when Colombia’s Nairo Quintana hit the deck hard on a descent and lost over four minutes to drop from first place to 11th.

There were no such troubles for Contador on the technically demanding 36.7 kilometre dash to Borja.

The Tinkoff Saxo Team rider blasted his way through the early sections and was leading at the top of the climb at 11km.

The two-time Tour de France and Tour of Spain winner lost some time in the latter stages of the ride but still managed to cross over in fourth place – good enough to take over the race lead.

The day’s honours – and to no great surprise – went to Germany’s Tony Martin.

The three-times world champion in the discipline weaved his way through the tricky course and picked up the pace towards the final few kilometres to seal the win in just over 47 minutes.

Colombia’s Rigoberto Uran was second 15 seconds off the pace, Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara was third at 18 seconds while Contador crossed over trailing by 39 seconds.

Contador holds a 27 second lead over fellow Spaniard Alejandro Valverde ahead of Wednesday’s 153.4 kilometre stage 11 which features a gruelling summit finish in Santuario de San Miguel de Aralar.