Valverde wins 7th stage, Lopez regains overall Vuelta lead

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MAS DE LA COSTA, Spain (AP) Veteran Spaniard Alejandro Valverde made a successful charge in the final 150 meters to win the seventh stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Friday, with Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez finishing third to regain the overall lead.

The 39-year-old Valverde remained strong in the challenging final climb to finish just ahead of second-place Primoz Roglic at the end of the 183-kilometer (113-mile) stage from Onda to Mas de la Costa in eastern Spain. Lopez crossed the line six seconds behind Valverde, followed by Nairo Quintana and Rafal Majka.

It was the 12th stage win in the Vuelta for Valverde, who moved to third place overall, 10 seconds behind second-place Roglic and 16 seconds behind Lopez. Quintana, Valverde’s Movistar teammate, was 27 seconds off the lead in fourth place.

Lopez, a Colombian racing for Astana Pro Team, will be wearing the leader’s red jersey for the third time in this year’s Vuelta.

On Saturday, riders face a hilly 166.9-kilometer stage that will start in Valls and finish with a sprint in Igualada after a steep climb of more than seven kilometers.