Alberto Contador heading for Vuelta a Espana victory

Alberto Contador
© PA Photos
Alberto Contador looks likely to take his second victory in the Vuelta a Espana.

Alberto Contador has held on to the red jersey and looks likely to claim victory in the Vuelta a Espana.

Joaquim Rodriguez and Alejandro Valverde both finished ahead of the SaxoBank rider in a gruelling mountain stage.

However, the Spaniard dug deep to retain a lead of 1m 14s over his rivals, which looks good enough to give him a second tour title.

Only a mechanical failure can deny Contador victory on the ride into Madrid tomorrow.

It is the first time that the 29-year-old has competed since his return from a two-year doping ban.

Team Sky's Chris Froome held onto fourth place in the overall standings.

Alberto Contador
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