Alejandro Valverde sprints to victory in Volta a Catalunya
Mar 22 2017 11:56 pm CET

Alejandro Valverde sprints to victory in Volta a Catalunya

Alejandro Valverde of Movistar Team has won the third stage of the Volta a Catalunya. The Spaniard beat Quick-Step's Dan Martin in the final sprint.

The third of seven stages was the first real opportunity for climbers to show themselves in the Spanish UCI WorldTour race. The course includes three climbs of the first category, including the final ascent of La Molina.

Pieter Serry (Quick-Step Floors), Natnael Berhane (Dimension Data) and Diego Rubio (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) formed the breakaway of the day and built an advantage of more than five minutes.

Berhane attacked from the lead group at the start of the final climb, which allowed him to stay ahead of the peloton a little longer. The Eritrean was eventually reeled in as well however with eight kilometers to go.

At that point, Trek-Segafredo has just taken charge of the pace in the peloton with Jarlinson Pantano once again showing his importance to his team leader Alberto Contador. The Colombian's effort was too much for many as the group slowly but surely became smaller.

Orica-Scott's Carlos Verona attacked at five kilometers from the finish but the Spaniard couldn't gain enough on the group and was caught as Sky had once again taken charge of the pace.

No further attacks took place as none of the general classification riders dared to play their cards on this climb. The final sprint was explosive with Dan Martin delivering a strong performance until finally being surpassed by Valverde in the final meters.

Third place went to Adam Yates at three seconds, just ahead of Romain Bardet and Ilnur Zakarin.

Tejay Van Garderen of BMC Racing Team is the new overall leader with a 41-second advantage over teammate Samuel Sanchez. Sky's Geraint Thomas is in third place at 44 seconds.

Valverde's victory came just hours after the UCI's decision to punish all Movistar riders for the supposed pushes during the team time trial on Tuesday.
Photo of Alejandro Valverde by CyclingPub / Mary Cardenas





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