Alberto Contador won a Mountain Time trial Tuesday to increase his commanding overall lead in the Giro d’Italia, dedicating it to deceased Spanish rider Xavier Tondo, sports.yahoo.com informs.
Tondo died in an accident Monday after he was crushed between his car and a garage door in southern Spain.
Contador pointed a finger to the sky during the post-stage award ceremony.
“I really wanted to win today,” the three-time Tour de France winner said. “He was a good friend and this victory is for him.”
Contador clocked 28 minutes, 55 seconds over the 7.9-mile 16th stage from Belluno to Nevegal. Italians Vincenzo Nibali and Michele Scarponi finished second and third, 34 and 38 seconds behind, respectively.
In the overall standings, Contador leads Scarponi by 4 minutes, 58 seconds, with Nibali 5:45 back.
There was a minute’s silence observed before the first rider started to honor Tondo, and Nibali recalled riding against the Spaniard en route to winning last year’s Spanish Vuelta.
The opening three miles of Tuesday’s stage were fairly flat, the road went uphill significantly, with the final 2.8 miles at an average gradient of 10 percent, with a maximum of 14 percent.
Faustino Munoz, Contador’s mechanic with the Saxo Bank squad, was expelled from the race for opening his car door and hitting a spectator during the time trial. Also, Saxo Bank manager Philippe Mauduit was fined USD227 for the incident.