Zakarin wins grueling Stage 17 at Tour de France

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FINHAUT-EMOSSON, Switzerland — Ilnur Zakarin won the first Alpine stage of the Tour de France after using a late attack in the final climb on Wednesday.

Zakarin was part of a breakaway that formed early in the 184.5-kilometer (114.6-mile) 17th stage from Bern to the artificial lake of Finhaut-Emosson in Switzerland.

After Rafal Majka and Jarlinson Pantano tried to move away from the leading pack on the descent of the Col de La Forclaz, the Russian cyclist dropped them with a furious attack with 6.5 kilometers left.

It was Zakarin’s first stage win at cycling’s biggest event.

Race leader Chris Froome was riding several minutes behind in a group including main rivals Bauke Mollema and Nairo Quintana.

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.