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Alberto Contador Wins Giro d’Italia as He Awaits Doping Appeal

Alberto Contador won his second Giro d’Italia cycling race after defending his lead in today’s final stage, a time trial in Milan.

The Spaniard’s winning margin over Michele Scarponi of Italy was 6 minutes, 10 seconds. Contador has led since taking the race-leading pink jersey on the ninth stage on Mount Etna.

He’s waiting on an appeal hearing after being cleared of doping at last year’s Tour de France.

Contador, who rides for the Saxo Bank team, dominated the three-week Giro. He slowed to allow his friend Paolo Tiralongo of the Astana team to win the 19th stage two days ago.

The race was marred by the death of Belgian cyclist Wouter Weylandt, who was killed on a descent on stage three when his bike clipped a wall and he hit the road.

It’s the biggest winning margin since Ivan Basso won the race by 9 minutes, 18 seconds in 2006. Contador, who also won the Giro in 2008, now has six wins in cycling’s top three stages races in five years.

He was third on today’s time trial, which was won by Britain’s David Millar.

Contador, 28, blames eating contaminated beef for testing positive for the stimulant clenbuterol on the way to winning last year’s Tour de France, his third victory in the event.

He was cleared of doping by the Spanish cycling federation earlier this year, although the sport’s ruling body Union Cycliste Internationale is appealing the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Lausanne, Switzerland-based court said on May 26 it was postponing a June 6-8 hearing, without setting a new date. The delay is to allow witnesses and experts to take part, according to the court website.

The Tour de France starts on July 2.

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