ALBERTO Contador completed his expected victory at the four-day Route du Sud as Frenchman Bryan Coquard won yesterday’s 166 km final stage in a sprint finish.
Giro d’Italia champion Contador had won the race’s queen stage on Saturday — the only stage in which serious time differences could be expected — ahead of Nairo Quintana.
For both Contador and the man he succeeded as Tour of Italy champion, Quintana, were completing their final warm-up race before the Tour de France, which begins on July 4 in Utrecht, Netherlands.
Both caused a surprise by opting to ride the Route du Sud instead of the traditional week-long Tour warm-up events, the Criterium du Dauphine and Tour of Switzerland.
And Contador (32) attacked his 25-year-old rival on the descent into the finish at Bagneres-de-Luchon on Saturday after the pair crested the top of the final climb together.
The 17-second advantage, which included a time bonus, Contador earned then remained the final winning margin.
Tinkoff-Saxo’s Contador will be looking for a third Tour title in July having also won in 2007 and 2009, while Movistar’s Quintana will be aiming to better his second-placed finish from two years ago.
The pair are expected to fight for the Grand Boucle crown alongside the last two Tour winners, champion Vincenzo Nibali and Chris Froome.
1. Bryan Coquard (FRA/EUC) 3hr 42min 18sec
2. Lorenzo Manzin (FRA) same time
3. Leonardo Fabio Duque (COL) s.t.
4. Steven Tronet (FRA) s.t.
5. Angelo Tulik (FRA) s.t.
6. Enrique Sanz (ESP) s.t.
7. Louis Verhelst (BEL) s.t.
8. Julien Duval (FRA) s.t.
9. Armindo Fonseca (FRA) s.t.
10. Anthony Maldonado (FRA) s.t.
1. Alberto Contador (ESP/TCS) 16hr 53min 22sec
2. Nairo Quintana (COL) at 17sec
3. Pierre-Roger Latour (FRA) 41
4. Stéphane Rossetto (FRA) 1:06
5. Eduardo Sepulveda (ARG) s.t.
6. Miguel Angel Rubiano (COL) 1:31
7. Alberto Gallego Ruiz (ESP) 2:08
8. Ricardo Vilela (POR) 3:05
9. Federico Figueiredo (POR) 3:06
10. Julien Loubet (FRA) 3:14