VeloNews | Contador wins the Vuelta

With his third grand tour victory in barely a year, Alberto Contador has quickly grown from cycling’s boy wonder to the peloton’s new alpha male.

The 25-year-old Spanish climber lived up to expectations to win the 63rd Vuelta a España to complete cycling’s “triple crown” and becomes just the fifth rider to win all three grand tours.

“Now I am the winner of the Vuelta. Before I crossed the finish line I didn’t dare say it before, because today there was a crash with 3km to go and was just able to get around it,” Contador said at the finish line in Madrid. “I still don’t realize what I’ve achieved. It’s been a long three weeks and the race was difficult to win. I haven’t had a chance to reflect, but I am sure in the coming weeks I will have a chance to enjoy it more.”

Unless my mind is slipping, I believe this is also Contador’s third consecutive Grand Tour win in his last three starts, beginning with the 2007 Tour de France, the 2008 Giro d’Italia, and now the 2008 Vuelta a España. If I recall correctly, Contador did not start the 2007 Vuelta.

Has anyone else won the three different Tours in three consecutive starts (albeit in different years)?