Volta a Catalunya as Alejandro Valverde takes title

Monday, 27 March 2017 :  Valverde, who won Sunday’s seventh and final stage.

Alberto Contador was second in the final classification, with Valverde’s Movistar team-mate Marc Soler completing an all-Spanish top three.

Chris Froome finished 30th.

Victory continues a superb start to the season for 36-year-old Valverde, who also beat Contador by a second to win the Tour of Andalusia and was victorious in the one day Tour of Murcia for a fifth time in February.

Valverde’s win is even more impressive given every Movistar rider was handed a one minute penalty for infringements by Jose Joaquin Rojas in Tuesday’s team time trial.

His secured the overall win with a perfectly-timed sprint finish to pip Colombian Jarlinson Pantano on Sunday.

Valverde had launched a late attack alongside Irishman Daniel Martin with three kilometres to go of the 138.7km race around Barcelona.

“Today I felt good after a really hard stage yesterday, everything was easier today because of the team,” said Valverde.

“I knew Daniel [Martin] would attack when he did as he always does that and I worked very hard to stay with him and in the end I won by a hair’s breadth.”

The Spaniard also won stages three and five of the event.

Meanwhile at the Gent-Wevelgem one-day classic, local favourite and Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet of BMC won, holding off a challenge from fellow BelgianJen Keukeleire and the advancing world champion Peter Sagan.

Van Avermaet celebrated a hat-trick of victories in the Belgian cobbled classics this season having also won Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and E3 Harelbeke.

In the under-23 race, Britain’s Jacob Hennessy sprinted to victory.

Volta a Catalunya stage seven result:

1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) 3hrs 8mins 50secs

2. Jarlinson Pantano (Col/Trek) Same time

3. Arthur Vichot (Fra/FDJ)

4. Rafal Majka (Pol/BORA)

5. Daniel Martin (Ire/Quick-Step)

6. Aldemar Reyes (Col/Manzana Postobon)

7. Romain Bardet (Fra/AG2R)

8. Davide Formolo (Ita/Cannondale)

9. George Bennett (NZ/LottoNL)

10. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned/LottoNL)

Source : Internet

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