Alto de Hazallanas - Alberto Contador took a firm grip of
the Tour of Andalusia in Spain after easing to victory on the third stage on
Friday to extend his overall lead over Chris Froome to 27 seconds.
The 157.6 kilometre stage from Motril to Alto de Hazallanas
was the first summit finish for either Contador or Froome this season and just
like in the Tour of Spain last September, the Spaniard was far too strong for
the 2013 Tour de France winner.
Contador announced his intention to retire at the end of
2016 season earlier this week, but wants to become the first man since Marco
Pantani in 1998 to win both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France in the
same season before he bows out.
And the 32-year-old looked in fine fettle as he broke clear
at the start of the steep eight kilometre climb to the finish to leave the
competition in his wake and seal victory in 4hr 19min 16sec.
Froome wasn't even in the initial chasing group when
Contador attacked, but got stronger as the climb went on to finish 19 seconds
behind in second.
France's Romain Bardet was third, a further 1min 22sec back.
Second place was also enough to move Froome up to second in
the general classification, 1min 32sec ahead of Benat Intxausti.
Saturday's fourth and penultimate stage also includes a
summit finish at the end of a 199.8km ride from Maracena to Alto de las
Stage 3 results:
1. Alberto Contador (ESP/TCS) 4hr 19min 16sec,
2. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) at 19sec,
3. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 1min 41sec,
4. Benat Intxausti (ESP/MOV) 1min 58sec,
5. Mikel Nieve (ESP/SKY) 2min 01sec
1. Alberto Contador (ESP/TCS) 12hr 22min 55sec,
2. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) at 27sec,
3. Benat Intxausti (ESP/MOV) 1min 59sec,
4. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 2min 13sec,
5. Peter Kennaugh (GBR/SKY) 2min 28sec