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updated: 4/8/2014 5:11 PM

Contador still leads Basque as Martin wins 2nd leg

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Associated Press

URDAX, Spain -- Tony Martin broke away to win the second stage of the Tour of Basque Country on Tuesday, while overall leader Alberto Contador maintained his 14-second advantage.

Martin was among seven cyclists who moved away from the peloton, with the German cyclist pulling ahead of a breakaway group that included Maxim Montfort and Jan Bakelandts just over 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from the finish.

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"At 15 kilometers to go, we knew to try and win this race -- so I attacked the breakaway," said Martin, who won a leg that included four categorized climbs by 30 seconds in a time of 3 hours, 46 minutes, 17 seconds.

Contador allowed the breakaways to ride out of sight as he stayed close to closest challenger Alejandro Valverde, who attempted to escape late in the 155.8-kilometer (99-mile) stage to no avail.

"Alejandro attacked, and I would have done the same thing if I was in his situation," Contador said. "There were spots where you could go for it, but I was very attentive to respond."

Contador, a former Tour de France champion, leads Valverde with an overall time of 7:51:54 for Tinkoff-Saxo. Michal Kwiatkowski of Poland is third -- 34 seconds off the pace.

"It wasn't a day where moves were made, but where a lot of energy was spent," Contador said.

Martin's first victory of the season gave his Omega-Pharma Quick Step team its 20th stage win of the season.

"This morning I was really motivated. Everybody wanted to try and go," Martin said. "It was the perfect situation. We collaborated really well with the other guys in the breakaway."

The five-stage race continues on Wednesday with a 194.7-kilometer (120-mile) leg from Urdax to the Basque capital city of Vitoria.

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