The 24-year-old broke away from a group including yellow jersey winner Davide Rebellin with 20 kilometres to go, and powered away up the category one Col d'Eze. The Gerolsteiner leader tried desperately make back ground on Contador, but the Spaniard preserved his advantage, finishing 20 seconds ahead of Rebellin's group.
Luis Leon Sanchez finished third in the general classification, with Lampre's Tadej Valjavec, who tried in vain to break away earlier in the stage.
Thomas Voeckler ensured he held onto the polkadot jersey, joining an early breakaway, and forged on again on his own when that was swallowed up by the peloton.
Giro d'Italia
Cummings and Roche ready to roar
11/05/2007 AT 19:02
He was finally reeled in with 34 kilometres to go on La Turbie, as the lead group headed by the Discovery Channel team came past at a punishing tempo.
Rebellin's team-mates were unable to live with the pace set by the American outfit, and the Italian was left to fend off successive attacks by himself up the final climb.
He was unable to respond when Contador broke clear though, and built up a lead that saw him through to the finish.
1. Alberto Contador (Spain/Discovery Channel) 3h15'47"
2. David Lopez (Spain / Caisse d'Epargne) +19"
3. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spain / Caisse d'Epargne) "
4. Samuel Sanchez (Spain / Euskaltel) +22"
5. Alexandre Botcharov (Russia / Credit Agricole) "
6. Franco Pellizotti (Italy / Liquigas) "
7. Tadej Valjavec (Slovenia / Lampre) "
8. Davide Rebellin (Italy / Gerolsteiner) "
9. Frank Schleck (Luxembourg / Team CSC) "
10. Cadel Evans (Australia / Predictor - Lotto) ''
Pro Tour 2007
Basso denies taking drugs
08/05/2007 AT 11:52
Pro Tour 2007
Basso had crisis of conscience
07/05/2007 AT 17:39