Tour of Spain: Alberto Contador takes overall lead with victory on stage 17


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The Independent Online

Alberto Contador held on to his advantage after making an audacious break to win the 17th stage of the Spanish Vuelta today and take the overall lead from Joaquin Rodriguez.

The two-time Tour de France champion drew on his experience to make his gutsy break more than 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the mountain finish, leaving Rodriguez behind and crossing the line 2 minutes, 38 seconds ahead of the previous leader.

Contador let out two loud cries in celebration as he finished in 4:29:20, closing in on his second Vuelta and first title since returning from a doping ban.

An emotional Contador says "the call came to push ahead ... (so) I gambled."

Alejandro Valverde passed Rodriguez to take second place in the stage and in the overall standings.