2008 Vuelta A España

The 2008 Vuelta a España was the 63rd edition of the Vuelta a España, one of cycling's Grand Tours. The race began with a 7 km (4.3 mi) team time trial on August 30th in Granada. The Vuelta came to a close twenty-three days later with a 102.2 km (63.5 mi) flat stage, which brought the peloton into the streets of Madrid. Nineteen teams entered the race, which was won by the Spaniard Alberto Contador of Astana. Second and third respectively were the American Levi Leipheimer of Astana and the Spanish Carlos Sastre of Team CSC Saxo Bank.

Alberto Contador first gained the race lead after the race's thirteenth stage, which contained a summit finish on the Alto de El Angliru. Contador took the lead from Euskaltel-Euskadi's Egoi Martínez, who had held the race lead for four stages. Through the first nine days of racing the race leader's golden jersey had been worn by eight different riders. The day after Contador gained the lead of the race, he attacked again and won the stage, while also expanding his lead over his competitors. Contador lost about thirty seconds to his teammate Levi Leipheimer in the stage 20 individual time trial, but together he and Levi further distanced themselves from the other general classification contenders.

Contador's win at the Vuelta allowed him to become the first Spaniard - and the fifth person in the history of cycling - to win all three Grand Tours in a career. At the age of 25, Contador became the youngest person to ever win all three Grand Tours. Contador was also the third cyclist to ever win the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta in the same calendar year. In addition to the general classification, Contador also won the combination classification. In the race's other classifications, Silence-Lotto's Greg Van Avermaet won the points classification and David Moncoutié of the Cofidis team won the mountains classification. Finally, Caisse d'Epargne won the team classification, which ranked each of the nineteen teams contesting the race by lowest cumulative time.

Read more about 2008 Vuelta A España:  Teams, Routes and Stages, Race Overview, Classification Leadership, Final Standings

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