Tour of Catalonia

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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.

Alejandro Valverde retakes overall lead of Tour of Catalonia

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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.

Tejay van Garderen keeps overall lead in Tour of Catalonia

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IGUALADA, Spain — Tejay van Garderen of the U.S. successfully defended his lead in a Tour of Catalonia fourth stage that was cut short by 60 kilometers (37 miles) because of a snowstorm in northeastern Spain.

Nacer Bouhanni of France won the 136-kilometer (84-mile) stage after outsprinting Davide Cimolai of Italy in the final meters. Cimolai beat Bouhanni to win the opening stage on Monday.

Van Garderen finished 33rd with his BMC Racing Team to maintain a 41-second lead over teammate Samuel Sanchez of Spain. Geraint Thomas of Team Sky was another three seconds behind, and Alejandro Valverde was another second back.

Tour de France winner Chris Froome of Team Sky remained four seconds behind Valverde in the overall standings.

Valverde and the rest of the Movistar riders were penalized on Wednesday after some of them pushed each other in the second stage.

The fourth stage was originally to run from Llivia to Igualada, but the snow prompted the race to start 58 kilometers (36 miles) into the route, in the city of Montferrer.