June 21, 2015 / 9:04 PM / 4 years ago

Confident Contador wins Route du Sud

(Reuters) - Giro winner Alberto Contador slipped nicely into gear ahead of the Tour de France with victory in the four-day Route du Sud on Sunday.

Tinkoff-Saxo rider Alberto Contador of Spain, pink jersey holder and overall leader, waves before the start of the 178 km (110 miles) 21st and last stage of the 98th Giro d'Italia cycling race from Turin to Milan May 31, 2015. REUTERS/LaPresse/Fabio Ferrari

The Spaniard, bidding to become the first rider since the late Marco Pantani in 1998 to claim the Giro-Tour de France double in the same year, defended his lead on the final stage to finish 17 seconds ahead of Nairo Quintana.

“I’m happy with this victory at the Route du Sud but this doesn’t change anything in view of the Tour de France,” the Tinkoff-Saxo team captain told reporters.

“It would be a mistake to change the mindset right now, thinking that this win would give me more confidence.”

“We still have another 13 days until the start of the Tour de France and I will keep my focus on my preparation in order to reach the start in the best shape possible,” he added.

Simon Spilak of Slovenia won the Tour of Switzerland in Berne, five seconds ahead of Briton Geraint Thomas.

Thomas, who began the final time-trial as favorite to win the race, overtook the 34-second lead of overnight leader Thibaut Pinot before Spilak closed down a 13-second gap on the Team Sky rider.

“After a lot of second and third places, finally I have managed again to win a big race. Of course this is the biggest victory in my career,” Spilak told reporters.

“This was a main objective in the season and I was very motivated, so to get this victory is incredible.”

Tom Dumoulin of Giant-Alpecin won the stage, 18 seconds ahead of Katusha’s Spilak, to take overall third.

Reporting by Ed Osmond, editing by Martyn Herman

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