Giro plays wrong anthem for champion Contador

Race official issue formal apology

The Spanish Sports Council has lodged a formal complaint with the Giro d'Italia after the wrong version of the national anthem was played leaving a stunned Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) standing on the podium and Spanish fans surrounding the Duomo in Milan.

At the conclusion of this year's Giro on Sunday, it was the old version of the Spanish anthem known as La Marcha Granadera, which was heard which includes the lyrics "Long live Spain! Raise your arms, sons of the Spanish people, who are rising again." The nation's right-wing dictator Francisco Franco's approved lyrics were ditched in 1978 and the anthem now known as La Marcha Real has since been played without lyrics.

Contador clinched his second Giro d'Italia victory with his third place in final time trial, giving the Saxo Bank rider a 6:10 gap over nearest rival Michele Scarponi in the general classification.

Giro d'Italia officials have since issued a formal apology, saying it was an "error unacceptable to the champion, with the Government and representatives of the Spanish State present and all Spanish citizens."

It is not the first time Contador has been left embarrassed on a Grand Tour podium. When he won the 2009 Tour de France, race organisers played the Danish national anthem during his victory celebrations.


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