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Contador, Klöden and Leipheimer make European debuts

Alberto Contador in the Volta ao Algarve leader's jersey.

Alberto Contador in the Volta ao Algarve leader's jersey. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Alberto Contador Andreas Klöden and Levi Leipheimer will make their European racing debuts at the Volta ao Algarve on Wednesday.

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Tour de France winner Contador is opening his season in Portugal, as “the start of his long preparation for the Tour de France,” according to the team. He will be supported by a variety of Spanish, Kazakh and Ukrainian riders.

Contador will look to repeat his overall victory from 2009. Last year, he finished second on the race's mountainous third stage, and won the time trial by more than 30 seconds to take the lead.

Team RadioShack is sending a high-powered team led by Klöden and Leipheimer, Gert Steegmans will contest the sprint finishes. Klöden finished fifth overall in the race last year, riding for Astana.

The Volta ao Algarve runs February 17-21, and features several mountain stages before ending with a 17km individual time trial.

Team Astana for the Volta ao Algarve: Alberto Contador, David de la Fuente, Maxim Gourov, Andriy Grivko, Jesus Hernandez, Daniel Navarro, Daniel Noval, and Sergey Renev

Team RadioShack for the Volta ao Algarve: Andreas Klöden, Levi Leipheimer, Tiago Machado, Sergio Paulinho, Gregroy Rast, Sebastien Rosseler, Gert Steegmans, and Thomas Vaitkus

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