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Contador retains Basque lead

Markina-Xemein, Spain - Alberto Contador protected his lead of the Tour of Basque Country before the decisive time trial, while Ben Swift of England won Friday's fifth stage.

Swift edged a pack of riders at the finish line to claim the 160-kilometer (99-mile) leg featuring five categorized mountain climbs from Eibar to Markina-Xemein in just under four hours.

Chris Froome. File photo. Credit: AP

Alejandro Valverde, who is second overall, also finished second in the stage, a wheel-length behind Swift.

Contador finished in the leading group to make sure he didn't lose any of his 12-second lead.

The 54th edition of the six-day race in northern Spain concludes on Saturday with a 24-kilometer (14.9 mile) time trial to and from Beasain.

Sapa-AP

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