Contador on verge of second Tour success

Alberto Contador is on the verge of winning his second Tour de France in three years after finishing fourth to fellow-Spaniard Juan Manuel Garate in the arduous 20th and penultimate 167km stage to the top of Mont Ventoux. Contador came home alongside his rivals for overall victory as the stage turned into a tactical battle between the race leaders while the two remnants of an early 16-man breakaway group, Garate and Germany’s Tony Martin, battled it out for the glory of finishing first at the top of the ‘Giant of Provence.’ Garate eventually won his duel with Team Columbia’s Martin by three seconds, giving Rabobank their first stage victory in what has been a disappointing Tour for the Dutch team. However, the real story was developing behind them as second-placed Andy Schleck launched a series of attacks in an attempt to distance third-placed Lance Armstrong — with the aim of getting his older brother Frank, who began the stage in sixth position, onto the podium.