26 Jul 2010

Contador claims third Tour de France title

6:46 pm on 26 July 2010

Spainish cyclist Alberto Contador has claimed his third Tour de France title by a slim 39 seconds over Luxembourg's Andy Schleck.

The 27-year-old stayed safe in the main bunch during the more than one hundred kilometre ride from Longjumeau, with Briton Mark Cavendish claiming the last stage for the second year in a row.

New Zealand's Julian Dean claimed his third podium finish on the Tour, crossing the line third behind Italy's Alessandro Petacchi.

During the three-week Tour, Contador showed some weaknesses in the mountains and almost cracked in the final time trial, but it was enough for him to hold off Schleck for the win.

He says while he's had difficult moments on the Tour this year, he's happy with the overall win.

It's the fifth year in a row that a Spainiard has won the Tour de France, following triumphs for Oscar Pereiro in 2006, Contador in 2007, Carlos Sastre in 2008 and Contador again last year.

Russia's Denis Menchov took third place, two minutes off the pace, while 38-year-old Armstrong, riding his final Tour de France, finished 23rd overall after losing all chance in the first mountain stage.