Menchov wins 20th leg, Contador set for Vuelta win

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Associated Press

Posted on September 9, 2012 at 9:01 AM

MADRID (AP) — Denis Menchov won the punishing 20th stage of the Spanish Vuelta while Alberto Contador kept the overall leader's red jersey to all but clinch his second title.

Menchov, a Russian cyclist and a two-time Vuelta winner, outlasted Richie Porte of Australia on the special category climb up to Bola del Mundo to win the penultimate leg by 17 seconds in 4 hours, 48 minutes, 48 seconds.

Alejandro Valverde and Joaquin Rodriguez, Contador's closest pursuers in the general classification, finished ahead of the Spanish leader but the difference wasn't enough to close the gap.

The 67th race ends with a largely processional 71-mile ride into Madrid on Sunday.

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