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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 April, 2005, 16:08 GMT 17:08 UK
Valverde clinches tense stage win
Alejandro Valverde
Valverde was third in the event's opening stage
Spain's Alejandro Valverde produced a late surge to snatch the third stage of the Tour of the Basque Country.

The Iles Balears rider took the lead in the 176km stage with just 100m to go and was able to hold off Giovanni Lombardi and Bjorn Leukemans.

Valverde's team-mate Aitor Osa retains the overall lead, just two seconds ahead of a three-man group.

Last year's Giro d'Italia winner Damiano Cunego is a further three seconds back in fifth.


Stage three results:

1. Alejandro Valverde (Spain / Illes Balears) 4:19:09"
2. Giovanni Lombardi (Italy / Team CSC) +2 seconds
3. Bjoern Leukemans (Belgium / Davitamon - Lotto)
4. Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero (Spain / Phonak)
5. Danilo Di Luca (Italy / Liquigas)
6. Patrice Halgand (France / Credit Agricole)
7. Matthias Kessler (Germany / T-Mobile)
8. Constantino Zaballa (Spain / Saunier Duval)
9. Ricardo Serrano (Spain / Kaiku)
10. Alexandre Botcharov (Russia / Credit Agricole)

Overall standings (after three stages):

1. Aitor Osa (Spain / Illes Balears) 11:22:57"
2. Danilo Di Luca (Italy / Liquigas) +2 seconds
3. Patrice Halgand (France / Credit Agricole) +2
4. Davide Rebellin (Italy / Gerolsteiner) +2




SEE ALSO
Di Luca sprints to Basque stage
04 Apr 05 |  Cycling
Boonen strikes for Flanders win
03 Apr 05 |  Cycling
Julich seals Paris-Nice victory
13 Mar 05 |  Cycling
Petacchi secures Milan-San Remo
19 Mar 05 |  Cycling
Freire takes ProTour series lead
15 Mar 05 |  Cycling


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