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In this brief review of recent Vuelta a España winners ahead of this year’s race starting Saturday, we take a look at the 2014 Vuelta won by Alberto Contador. Unlike his two previous, more dramatic overall victories, in 2008 and 2012, Contador’s third success was relatively straightforward—even though it came only a few weeks after he abandoned the Tour de France with a tibia fracture.
John Wilcockson/Yuzuru Sunada
RELATED: Contador drops out of the Tour.
At the Vuelta, he moved into contention on stage 6, the first uphill finish, with Alejandro Valverde, Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana, and he took the leader’s red jersey on the stage 10, 36.7-kilometer time trial at Borja. Contador was fourth in the TT (this image), while overnight leader Quintana crashed, lost four minutes and quit the race the following day after crashing again.
Froome and Valverde continued to battle on the remaining mountaintop finishes, two of which were won by Contador, who ran out the overall winner by 1:10 over Froome, with Valverde third at 1:50. Now about to start his fourth Vuelta, and out to take a fourth victory, Contador will again be facing off against Froome; and with 10 of the 21 stages of this year’s Vuelta due to finish on summits it could see a repeat performance by the Spanish star.