took a calculated risk on Wednesday to attack a dangerous drop in an attempt to safeguard their hopes of getting his fourth Tour de France.
"It was a very dangerous descent," he said in Spanish after the end of the seventeenth stage. "I was with the first, I could attack and it is important to shorten time each day."
Row 28, who lost a crucial time in the first stage to be damaged by a massive fall, left the group with Samuel Sanchez in the top of Pramartino and they opened a gap on the descent of Pinerolo.
Contador and Sanchez were finally caught by a group in which they were the brothers Schleck of Luxembourg and Australian when the goal was in sight.
However, the Spaniard gained time on the overall leader, Thomas Voeckler, who left the tour in spectacular fashion, losing 27 seconds in the process.
Contador, unbeaten in all the major stage races in which he has participated since 2007, had already attacked on Tuesday after recovering fully from a knee problem that swept from one crash during the first week.
"Today, everyone knew that attack, which makes it different from yesterday, and provided good weather conditions," he told reporters.
Voeckler was the only other choice is at stake in the narrow road flanked by trees while the Schleck brothers, who believed that the decline was too dangerous to wander back in his attack, seemingly happy with the policy of Espen surprise me that the Schleck not attacking, but I make my career anyway and had a good reward, Voeckler is a very big hall and all the time you can cut is good, "said Contador.
Spanish is three minutes and 15 seconds behind Voeckler, with Evans in second place 1:18 behind the leader. Frank Schleck is in third place, 1:22 behind Voeckler, while his younger brother Andy, runner of the two previous editions of the Tour, is 2:36.
Evans, who on Tuesday won three seconds to Contador in the decline that ended in Gap, not risk Wednesday.
"With the shadows, and so it was very difficult to see. I could not risk too much," he told reporters the 2009 champion.
"Voeckler went off the road in front of me. It makes you take things more cautiously. There was a hole and put me behind Andy, though I could not catch him."
Counter attack is expected again on Thursday in a tough stage which ends at 2645 meters above sea level, on top of the Col du Galibier at a stage which is also the Col d'Agnel climb of 2744 meters, and the Col d'Izoard.