Milan – Spaniard Alberto Contador capped a spectacular day of racing on the fifth stage of Tirreno-Adriatico to claim his second successive stage win and take the race leader's jersey on Sunday.
A day after winning stage four, the two-time Tour de France winner was in imperious form on the 190 km stage from Amatrice to Guardiagrele where he came over the line solo following a punishing, final climb having launched an incisive attack earlier.
Overall victory rivals Michal Kwiatkowski and Nairo Quintana
were among those who failed to respond to Contador's surge of pace on a long climb inside the final 30 km.
While Quintana limited some of the damage, Omega-Pharma's Kwiatkowski finished a massive six minutes down, meaning Contador now leads the 'Race of the Two Seas' with a 2min 08sec lead on Colombian climbing specialist Quintana.
Contador's Czech teammate at Tinkoff, Roman Kreuziger, sits third overall at 2:09.
The race finishes on Sunday with a 9.1 km individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto. – Sapa-AFP