Alberto Contador (Spain) Cycling, 27
Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador won his second Tour de France in three years in 2009. Renowned as the best climbing specialist and stage racer in the world, Contador won Stage 15 by more than a minute from his closest rivals to take the yellow jersey. He extended his lead after finishing second in a breakaway on Stage 17, and the next day won the second time trial to increase the gap to more than four minutes, an advantage he never lost. He beat his Astana team-mate Lance Armstrong, who had returned to cycling after four years, into third place. It was an even more satisfying win for Contador than his first Tour de France victory in 2007, when he inherited the yellow jersey when the leader at the time, Michael Rasmussen, was withdrawn by his team. Contador, who won the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana in 2008, is the fifth man to win all three Grand Tours of cycling.