Cycling

Valverde recovers from Catalonia penalty with stage win

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Alejandro Valverde (Getty Images)
Alejandro Valverde (Getty Images)

La Molina - Spain's Alejandro Valverde of the Movistar team brushed off a one minute overnight penalty to claim a mountain summit win on stage three of the Tour of Catalonia on Wednesday.

American rider Tejay Van Garderen of BMC is the new overall leader of the week long tour, finishing just seconds behind Wednesday's winner.

Van Garderen and BMC were one of the main beneficiaries of the penalty imposed on Movistar for pushing during the previous day's time trial.

Stage three featured three mountains and an escape group was caught on the final climb which culminated in Valverde outsprinting Ireland's Dan Martin for the win.

"I felt great today and the whole team performed well on a fast paced stage with Sky setting the tempo -- all I had to do was produce the final sprint really," said Valverde.

Most of the main contenders for the title including Sky's Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas were just a few seconds adrift of the winner with Britain's Adam Yates coming third on the day.

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