Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) may not quite have had the legs to match Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) on stage one, El Pistolero blasting up the road with consummate ease. But it has been anything but easy for Contador since, with Valverde matching him move-for-move on stage four. Every sudden acceleration by Contador rid himself of more rivals out the back, and tested the others in the leading group.
But every time, Valverde was there on his wheel – tirelessly pursuing the Tinkoff-Saxo man until the attacks relented. And the Movistar leader was justly rewarded for his efforts too – stealing a march in the final few hundred metres to cut Contador’s lead by two seconds. With one road stage to come before the final stage individual time trial, Contador remains in a good position – but this one appears to be going to the wire.