Cavendish wins Tour Stage 6 in mass sprint in Montauban

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MONTAUBAN, France — British sprinter Mark Cavendish easily won the sixth stage of the Tour de France in a mass finish on Thursday.

It was Cavendish’s third stage win of this Tour, his 29th overall.

Cavendish beat German sprinter Marcel Kittel by half a wheel, with Daniel McLay third.

The stage took the peloton from Arpajon-sur-Cere to Montauban in southwestern France on a 190.5-kilometer ride.

Early attackers Yukiya Arashiro and Jan Barta built up a lead of 4 1/2 minutes but were caught by the pack with 22 kilometers left.

Greg van Avermaet kept the yellow jersey ahead of Friday’s first stage in the Pyrenees.

Van Avermaet wins Gent-Wevelgem for two victories in three days

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GENT, Belgium (AP) Olympic road champion Greg Van Avermaet won his second race in three days Sunday, beating fellow Belgian Jens Keukeleire in a two-man sprint finish to take the Gent-Wevelgem classic.

World champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia, who won last year’s race, finished third.

The 249-kilometer (154.7-mile) race through Belgium included two ascents of the steep, cobbled Kemmelberg hill, one of the iconic climbs of the spring classics season.

Last year’s race was overshadowed by the death of Belgian rider Antoine Demoitie after a fall.

Sagan fell Friday in the E3 Harelbeke, which Van Avermaet also won to add to his victory last month in Het Nieuwsblad.

Alejandro Valverde wins his second Tour of Catalonia

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Alejandro Valverde of Spain won his second Tour of Catalonia on Sunday.

Valverde secured the victory by finishing first in the 139-kilometer (86-mile) seventh stage, perfectly timing his final sprint at a hilltop overlooking Barcelona.

He finished the weeklong race more than one minute ahead of Alberto Contador and Marc Soler, who closed out the all-Spanish podium.

Valverde won despite receiving a one-minute time penalty Wednesday after race officials ruled that some Movistar riders pushed one another in Tuesday’s team time trial.

The 36-year-old Valverde had won two other stages.

Valverde also won the race in northeastern Spain in 2009, the same year he clinched the Spanish Vuelta for his only Grand Tour title.

Three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome fell out of contention during Saturday’s stage.