Valverde nears Cat­alo­nia win on dis­as­trous day for Froome

New Straits Times - - Sport -

REUS: Daryl Im­pey claimed stage six of the Tour of Cat­alo­nia on Satur­day as Ale­jan­dro Valverde ex­tended his over­all lead to 53 sec­onds over Alberto Con­ta­dor.

How­ever, three-time Tour de France cham­pion Chris Froome plunged from sec­ond place to 31st after los­ing more than 26 min­utes on the 189.7km stage from Tor­tosa to Reus.

Im­pey edged out Valverde in a sprint fin­ish to the line to deny the Spa­niard his third stage win of the Tour in 4hrs 34mins 14secs with French­man Arthur Vi­chot in third.

“I was just happy to have the legs for the sprint be­cause I rode quite hard early on,” said Im­pey.

“We moved (Adam) Yates up over­all so to get the win on top of that is fan­tas­tic.”

Yates moved up to fourth in the gen­eral clas­si­fi­ca­tion be­hind Valverde’s Mo­vis­tar team­mate Marc Soler, thanks to Froome's im­plo­sion.

The dam­age for the Bri­ton was done early in the day as he missed out as a lead group of around 50 riders in­clud­ing Valverde and Con­ta­dor formed on the first de­scent on an un­du­lat­ing stage after just 25 kilo­me­tres.

Froome, ac­com­pa­nied by his en­tire team, was un­able to bridge a gap which grew through­out the stage leav­ing him out of con­tention.

In the lead group Valverde was well-pro­tected by his team­mates from any at­tacks by Con­ta­dor as he edged to­wards a sec­ond over­all win in Cat­alo­nia.

And he gained an ex­tra six sec­onds on Con­ta­dor thanks to the bonus time on of­fer from fin­ish­ing sec­ond in the stage.

All Mo­vis­tar riders were handed a minute’s penalty for in­fringe­ments by Jose Joaquin Ro­jas in to­mor­row’s team time trial. AFP charges in France.

Fred­er­icks said he had a con­tract with the sports mar­ket­ing com­pany and the tim­ing of the pay­ment was co­in­ci­den­tal.

He re­ported de­tails of the case to ethics com­mis­sions at the IOC and IAAF and had al­ready stepped aside from all his du­ties at the IOC, which in­cluded lead­ing the group eval­u­at­ing the cities bid­ding to host the 2024 Olympics.

He also pre­vi­ously with­drew from the IAAF task­force look­ing at dop­ing in Rus­sia.

The 49-year-old Fred­er­icks won four Olympic sil­ver medals in the 1990s. AP

AFP PIC

Orica’s Daryl Im­pey cel­e­brates his vic­tory on the sixth day of the Volta Catalunya on Satur­day.

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