TORTOSA, Spain — Alejandro Valverde defeated Chris Froome and Alberto Contador to win the decisive fifth stage of the Tour of Catalonia on Friday and take the overall lead going into the weekend.
Valverde won after dominating the final climb of the 182-kilometer (113-mile) stage from Valls to Tortosa. The Spaniard finished 13 seconds ahead of both Froome and Contador.
Valverde opened a 21-second lead over Froome and a 47-second gap to Contador in the overall standings.
American Tejay van Garderen, the leader going into Friday’s stage, dropped to sixth place overall, 1 minute, 18 seconds behind Valverde.
Froome, the three-time Tour de France winner, had an eventful day. He had a puncture about 20 kilometers (12 miles) into the stage, and was also forced to momentarily stop with about 45 kilometers (28 miles) to go because of a crash in front of him.
Saturday’s sixth stage will see riders travel 189 kilometers (117 miles) from Tortosa to Reus.
The week-long race in northeastern Spain ends Sunday in Barcelona.
FRIBOURG, Switzerland (AP) Michael Matthews of Australia won the opening Tour of Romandie prologue on Tuesday for his first victory of the season.
Matthews was one second faster than Tom Bohli of Switzerland on the 4-kilometer (2-1/2 mile) route around Fribourg. Primoz Roglic of Slovenia was third.
After a stellar 2017, when he won two Tour de France stages and the green jersey as most consistent finisher, Matthews had a low-key European spring season.
The Team Sunweb rider told Swiss broadcaster RTS it was a “massive relief” to get his first win.
The six-day race through Switzerland’s French-speaking region continues Wednesday with a 166-kilometer (103-mile) ride from Fribourg to Delemont. It includes three category 2 climbs.
BERN, Switzerland (AP) Andy Rihs, a Swiss businessman who owned the BMC Racing cycling team and Young Boys soccer club, has died. He was 75.
Rihs died Wednesday in Zurich after “a patient and valiantly endured illness,” the BMC team said Thursday in a statement.
“Our grief is indescribable, but we will carry on his values,” the team said, praising Rihs for his “generosity, his sense of humor, and his infectious laugh.”
Rihs’s death comes with Young Boys close to winning its first Swiss league title in 32 years. Young Boys leads by 11 points with six matches left.
“Andy, thank you for everything. We will miss you,” Young Boys said in a statement.
Rihs’s brother, Hans-Ueli, is also an owner of the club and Stade de Suisse in Bern, known locally as Wankdorf. The stadium staged the 1954 World Cup final.
As BMC owner, Rihs secured a Tour de France title five years after his previous team was involved in a doping scandal. Cadel Evans of Australia wore BMC’s black and red colors to victory in the 2011 Tour.
In 2006, the Rihs-backed Phonak team disbanded after American rider Floyd Landis was stripped of the Tour title.