VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Movistar Team wins again

Alejandro Valverde claims 101st career victory atop La Molina, clinches 10th success for Blues in 2017 by beating top Volta GC riders

After a controversial decision took victory away from the Movistar Team on Tuesday, the telephone squad stroke back in the best way possible, claiming a fantastic win with Alejandro Valverde on stage three of the Volta a Catalunya, finishing atop the Cat-1 climb of La Molina. The Spanish rider took his 101st pro success ahead of Dan Martin (QST), who anticipated the man from Murcia's acceleration with an attack 300m from the line, one that 'Bala' overtook without major problems to secure his success.

The Blues' leader on Catalan soil crowned a nice piece of work from his week, mostly protagonized by Marc Soler. The 23-year-old local launched one of the final attacks that set up the finish for his leader, who now sits back in full contention after the one-minute penalty the race jury put on all his team-mates this very morning.

Thanks to the 10-second bonus and small splits in the finale, Valverde now ranks 4th overall, 45" behind race leader Tejay Van Garderen and only four and one, respectively, from second and third-placed Samuel Sanchez and Geraint Thomas, which complete the provisional podium. Marc Soler retains a magnificent 6th spot and will wear the best young rider's jersey on stage four, Thursday, a 194km journey down from the Pyrenees, between Llívia and Igualada, with the Cat-2 Turó del Puig ascent just 13 kilometers from the end.

Alejandro Valverde said: "It was a very fast start before the break went finally away. The last 50km were also really hard, too. Sky made it harder with a strong pace through the entire finale, but the team kept me protected perfectly and Soler was excellent controlling all moves into the last kilometers. Part of this victory is his, too. To be honest, I just had to make sure I sprinted properly. When Daniel Martin attacked, I went on his wheel quickly - I knew it would be difficult for him to beat me, because such uphill finishes really suit me well."

"We must continue to ride focusing on one stage at a time - get through Thursday first and then see how we're feeling for Lo Port, which will be a really stepp finish. I prefer not to further opine on what happened yesterday, everyone could see the images. Inwardly, we know we won that stage and we did it fairly. For the time being, our Volta can only be qualified as phenomenal.”

2017 Volta a Catalunya Stage 3 Results

1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 5:07:12 
2 Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors   
3 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:00:03 
4 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale   
5 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin   
6 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky   
7 Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo   
8 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team   
9 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac 0:00:08 
10 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac   
11 George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-Jumbo   
12 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky   
13 Pierre Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:12 
14 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:13 
15 Carlos Verona (Spa) Orica-Scott   
16 Ondrej Cink (Cze) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:15 
17 Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team Emirates   
18 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo   
19 Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-Segafredo   
20 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team 

VIDEO: 2017 Volta a Catalunya Stage 3 Final Kilometres

Alejandro Valverde claims 101st career victory atop La Molina, clinches 10th success for Blues in 2017 by beating top Volta GC riders - Pictures: Photo Gomez Sport

Tag: tourofcatalunya
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