Giro d’Italia 2015: Alberto Contador holds on to complete first leg of double Tour dream

The Spaniard won the tour for a second time

Click to follow

Alberto Contador clinched his second Giro d’Italia title on Sunday, remaining on course to become the first rider since 1998 to win the Giro and the Tour de France in the same year.

The Spaniard had all but secured the win after Saturday’s 20th stage when he had his lead cut in half but nevertheless headed into the final day – a mainly processional stage into Milan – with more than a two-minute advantage on his closest rival Fabio Aru. Contador ended up winning by 1 minute 53 seconds.

Contador has had to dig deep during a troublesome three weeks in Italy, after dislocating his shoulder in an early crash, and the Tinkoff-Saxo rider is likely to face stiffer competition in the Tour. “I overcame so many difficulties, but at the end I got the maglia rosa [pink jersey],” he said. “I don’t know how long it will take to recover but I think I’ll get back to work on Saturday. It was an emotional Giro. I already said it would be my last but you never know.”

Aru finished second overall, with Astana team-mate Mikel Landa third, 3:05 behind Contador, who also won the Giro in 2008 and last triumphed in the Tour de France in 2009.

Iljo Keisse of Belgium sprinted to Sunday’s 110-mile stage victory, holding off the main sprinters thanks in part to a spate of punctures in the final two of the seven laps of the finishing circuit around Milan city centre.