Americain Levi Leipheimer (Astana) won the Tour of Castilla y Leon in northern Spain Friday, a race overshadowed by an injury to his teammate and countryman Lance Armstrong.
Spain’s Alejandro Valverde of the Caisse d’Epargne team won Friday’s fifth and final stage, a 152.50-kilometre race from Benavente to Valladolid, in a sprint finish.
Second overall was Leipheimer’s Astana teammate and triple Grand Tour winner Spaniard Alberto Contador. American David Zabriskie (Garmin-Slipstream) finished third overall.
Contador, one of the pre-race favorites after taking the last two editions of the event, said before the race that the event would be decided in the Tuesday’s time trial. And so it proved.
Leipheimer finished 16 seconds ahead of the 2007 Tour de France winner in the time trial, and in the overall standings.
In Monday’s first stage, Astana’s Armstrong, broke his collarbone in a fall. The Texan is recuperating after surgery at home in Austin, and it’s questionable if he’ll participate in the Giro d’Italia, which begins with a team trial in Venice May 9, and ends with an individual time trial in Rome May 31.