Contador slugs it out with Valverde and Sanchez in Paris-Nice finale

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It could have been deja vu all over again for Alberto Contador at the Paris-Nice bike race on Sunday.

The Caisse d'Epargne team was attacking Contador's precarious position as overall leader in the final stage of the week-long race, just as it had in the penultimate stage in 2009.

But instead of succumbing to the pressure and losing the yellow jersey to final champion Luis Leon Sanchez last year, Contador survived the attacks to win his second Paris-Nice championship. His first win came in 2007.

The leader of Team Astana beat Caisse d'Epargne's Alejandro Valverde by 11 seconds and third place Sanchez by 25 seconds, creating a three-Spaniard sweep of the the podium.

Two Frenchmen battled for the stage victory. Amael Moinard of Team Cofidis barely edged out Thomas Voeckler of Bbox at the finish line for the stage win.

That battle helped diffuse the war for bonus points that was going on just behind among the contenders for the overall lead.

Team RadioShack's Levi Leipheimer finished 23rd overall, 4:54 behind Contador.

The abilities of the two-time Tour de Frace winner's Astana team is coming under scrutiny as that big race is approaching in July. Contador was quoted:

“As the years go by, I've progressed in terms of experience and maturity. My legs are fine, my head is too, I hope the team will be even stronger in July to help me win the Tour. There are about seven or eight riders who can win the Tour because of their individual or their collective strength. I'm one of them.”

Full results at CyclingNews.

Also, watch Paris-Nice highlights at Versus beginning at 4 p.m. ET. (Did you remember to spring ahead for the time change today?)

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