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91st Giro d'Italia - GT
Italy, May 10-June 1, 2008
Giro d'Italia winner Contador arrives home
Spain's Alberto Contador of Team Astana was celebrated in his hometown of Pinto one day following his victory in the Giro d'Italia. The 25 year-old had been drafted by his team to contest the three-week Italian race while on vacation with his girlfriend and went on to win it ahead of Italy's Riccardo Riccò (Saunier Duval-Scott).
Contador was honoured by his team and its sponsors Sunday evening in Milano, following the final stage. One day later, he was warmly welcomed back to his hometown of Pinto (near Madrid). Greeted by a few hundred fans at Madrid's Barajas Airport, Contador preceded to the Real Casa de Correos de la Puerta del Sol, where he was honoured by Madrid's Mayor Esperanza Aguirre. In front of 2000 Contador supporters and cycling fans, Mayor Aguirre praised the rider for capturing the race overall win and recognised him as a champion of fair play and clean cycling. He was later paraded in a convertible automobile to his Pinto neighbourhood, where he was embraced by local supporters wearing pink shirts with the message, 'Pinto con Alberto Contador. Gracias Campeón.'
Due to Team Astana's non-invite to the Tour de France, Contador will have most of July free and is looking forward to returning to vacation.
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Images by Roberto Bettini/www.bettiniphoto.net