American Levi Leipheimer took his Tour of California-winning form to Spain and demolished the competition, including his Astana teammate Alberto Contador, in the Vuelta a Castilla y León Stage 2 time trial in Palencia on Tuesday.
The Astana rider completed the 28.2-kilometre test in 33:17 to take the overall lead ahead of his teammate and defending champion Contador. The Spaniard was second fastest with 33:35, while American David Zabriskie (Garmin-Slipstream) took third, four seconds slower.
The morning’s leader, Joaquin Sobrino (Burgos Monumental – Castilla y León) was no match for the general classification contenders and waved goodbye to the leader’s jersey.
pain’s alberto contador (l) of astana smiles as five-time tour de france winner and compatriot miguel indurain hands him a trophy after stage 2 of the castilla y leon in palencia, spain on march 24, 2009.: pain’s alberto contador (l) of astana smiles as five-time tour de france winner and compatriot miguel indurain hands him a trophy after stage 2 of the castilla y leon in palencia, spain on march 24, 2009. JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images
Five-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain (R) hands compatriot Alberto Contador a trophy after the Stage 2 time trial Tuesday
Astana teammate Lance Armstrong withdrew from the race Monday after breaking his collar bone in a crash just 20 kilometres from the finish. The Texan is back in the US, preparing for surgery. According to Astana team manager Johan Bruyneel, Armstrong should be fully recovered before the Tour de France, and may even race the Giro d’Italia as planned.
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