Cycling: Contador soon back in winning form

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The Independent Online

Alberto Contador was crowned winner of the Tour of Murcia yesterday in his second race since being cleared of doping charges.

The three-time Tour de France winner, who took over the race lead with a triumph on Saturday's second stage, held off nearest challengers Jérôme Coppel and Denis Menchov to win yesterday's 12.4-km individual time-trial in 14 minutes and 10 seconds.

Meanwhile, Belgian Thomas de Gendt overwhelmed the sprinters to secure a surprise victory in the 154.5-km first stage of the Paris-Nice race yesterday. Spectators and riders, including De Gendt himself, had expected a mass finish in the small town of Houdan.