Tinkoff-Saxo’s Alberto Contador wins stage 3 of Route du Sud, 13 seconds in front of rival Nairo Quintana. Contador, who now leads the race with 0’17”, put in a determined effort on Port de Balès after his teammates had laid down the ground work decimating the group of favorites. The ultimate attack came on the descent of the final climb, where he dropped Quintana and Latour.

Upon crossing the line in Bagnères-de-Luchon as the winner of the queen stage of Route du Sud just three weeks after having conquered the Giro d’Italia, Contador says that he was very satisfied his shape.

“I’m very happy with this victory. I strive to win in every race not just for myself and my team but also for our sponsors. I’d like to thank Tinkoff Bank, Saxo Bank, Citroën, Specialized, Sportful and all the partners of the team for their invaluable help. That’s why it’s always important to try and win”, says Contador.

“All my teammates did a very good job today and for that reason I had to round off the effort. On Port de Balès I was with Quintana and I asked him whether he wanted to collaborate in order to bring Latour back, who was alone at the front. Quintana said he didn’t want to because he considered I was very strong. There was still a long way to go but I tried to control the race to the top of the climb. At that point I got a few meters from Quintana and I realized it was a question of gritting my teeth and holding on to the finish line. I staged a few attacks, just enough to be able to control the race”, comments Contador before adding:

“Every win is always important and boosts your morale but this one doesn’t mean much. The main objective remains the Tour de France.”

Tinkoff Saxo Press