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Nairo Quintana wins Tirreno-Adriatico for second time in three years

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SAN BENEDETTO DEL TRONTO, Italy — Nairo Quintana won the Tirreno-Adriatico race for a second time in three years on Tuesday, while Rohan Dennis was fastest on the final stage, an individual time trial around San Benedetto del Tronto.

Quintana had started the day with a 50-second advantage over Thibaut Pinot and the Colombian rider’s 45th place finish, 41 seconds behind Dennis was enough to secure the overall victory.

“The Tirreno-Adriatico is a race I like very much,” said Quintana, who won it in 2015. “I’m happy to win it for the second time, and repay my team for the efforts they did for me.

“It was a fast time trial today. I was never worried because the seconds were in my advantage before the start.”

Dennis was three seconds faster than Jos van Emden on the 10-kilometer (6-mile) course to move into second place overall, 25 seconds behind Quintana.

“It’s been a great week for BMC as we started with a team time trial victory and we finish with an individual time trial victory,” said Dennis, who is Australia’s national time trial champion. “We’ve had some ups and downs but overall it’s very good.

“It was a tough course today with the headwind but I managed to keep some strength for the second half of the race.”

Pinot ended up third overall, 36 seconds behind Quintana.

Michael Hepburn of Australia was third on the day, just behind Van Emden.

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.