Cycling: Contador claims Catalunya crown


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The Independent Online

Troubled Spanish rider Alberto Contador claimed his biggest win of the 2011 season when he won the Tour of Catalunya yesterday. The Saxo Bank rider was already in the lead when he learnt on Thursday that the International Cycling Union would be challenging his acquittal for a positive test from last year's Tour de France for the banned substance clenbuterol.

Contador completed the seven-day race in Barcelona's city centre with a 23-second overall advantage over Italian Michele Scarponi, with Ireland's Dan Martin third, 35 seconds back.

"This was one of the hardest week-long races I've ever done," Contador said. Asked if the win was his way of responding to the UCI appeal, Contador said: "I haven't raced here to make any response to anybody."