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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 September, 2003, 16:55 GMT 17:55 UK
Valverde takes stage victory
Alejandro Valverde
Alejandro Valverde outpaced Italy's Dario Frigo in a small group sprint to win the ninth stage of the Tour of Spain on Sunday.

Valverde overtook Frigo in the closing metres of a mountain-top finish to the 174.8-kilometre stage from Vielha to Port d'Envalira in Andorra.

It gave the Spanish Kelme Costa-Blanca rider his eighth victory of the season.

Spain's Isidro Nozal finished close behind Valverde, extending his lead over team-mate Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano in the overall standings by 24 seconds.

"This has all been thanks to teamwork from the foot of the climb," said Valverde. "I never expected to win so many races this year, though."

Frenchman Richard Virenque, six times winner of the King of the Mountains in the Tour de France, was expelled from the race for being towed by a team car, officials said.


Stage nine results

1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Kelme 4hrs 48mins 36secs
2 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo one second behind
3 Unai Osa (Spa) iBanesto.com 3secs behind
4 Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) iBanesto.com same time
5 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) iBanesto.com same time
6 Felix Cardenas (Col) Labarca-2-Cafi Baqui 6secs behind
7 Isidro Nozal (Spa) ONCE same time
8 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Domina Vacanze same time
9 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Fassa Bortolo same time
10 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank same time

Overall standings

1 Isidro Nozal (Spa) ONCE 29 hours 46 minutes 50 seconds
2 Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE 1.45 behind
3 Manuel Beltran (Spa) US Postal Service 1.58 behind
4 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 3.02 behind
5 Roberto Heras (Spa) US Postal Service 3.25 behind
6 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) iBanesto.com 3.37 behind
7 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Kelme 3:57 behind
8 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Fassa Bartolo 4:00 behind
9 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank 4:04 behind
10 Unai Osa (Spa) iBanesto.com 4:11 behind




SEE ALSO
Rodriguez snatches home win
13 Sep 03  |  Cycling
Rasmussen lands stage win
12 Sep 03  |  Cycling
Stage win keeps Nozal ahead
11 Sep 03  |  Cycling
Petacchi makes history
10 Sep 03  |  Cycling
Etxebarria wins Vuelta stage
09 Sep 03  |  Cycling
Petacchi claims sprint victory
08 Sep 03  |  Cycling
Perez claims victory
07 Sep 03  |  Cycling
ONCE set Vuelta pace
06 Sep 03  |  Cycling


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