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Posted: Wednesday September 5, 2012 5:36PM ; Updated: Wednesday September 5, 2012 5:36PM

Contador takes the lead in Spanish Vuelta's stage 17

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CAMALENO, Spain (AP) -- Alberto Contador made an audacious break to win the 17th stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Wednesday and take the overall lead from Joaquin Rodriguez.

The two-time Tour de France champion drew on his experience to make his gutsy break more than 31 miles from the mountain finish, leaving Rodriguez behind. He crossed the finish line 2 minutes, 38 seconds ahead of the previous leader.

Contador erased Rodriguez's 28-second lead entering the 17th stage. He let out two loud cries in celebration as he finished in 4:29:20, closing in on his second Vuelta and first title since returning from a doping ban.

Alejandro Valverde passed Rodriguez to take second in the stage and in the overall standings. The 67th edition of the Spanish race ends Sunday in Madrid.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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