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Volta a Catalunya: Alejandro Valverde wins stage three, Geraint Thomas into third

Thursday, 23 March 2017 :  Valverde had topped the standings after Movistar won Tuesday’s time trial, only for officials to broaden an initial penalty to team-mate Jose Joaquin Rojas across the whole team.

Valverde then outsprinted Ireland’s Daniel Martin to win stage three.

He moves to fourth overall, behind Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas in third.

Sky’s Chris Froome was dropped in the finale and lies in fifth place, 49 seconds back, with fellow Briton Adam Yates of Orica in eighth after finishing third in the mountainous 188.3km stage from Mataro to La Molina.

Welshman Thomas came sixth and is 44 seconds behind new leader Tejay van Garderen of the US.

Samuel Sanchez of Spain is in second place, 41 seconds behind his BMC Racing team-mate Van Garderen.

“As a team we’re in a good place. We did a strong team time trial yesterday, but we’ve still got quite a bit of time to make up on the BMC guys.”

Valverde had finished at the head of the general classification after Movistar’s impressive time trial, but Rojas was initially penalised three minutes for pushing by a team-mate.

Following a protest from other teams, the penalty was then widened to 60 seconds for each of the remaining Movistar riders, including Valverde.

“The Movistar team wants to express its complete disagreement towards the sanction received,” the Spanish team said in a statement.

“It’s a penalty due to an infringement which we consider absolutely non-existent.”

Source : Internet

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