Alejandro Valverde takes Tour of Catalonia lead

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Banyoles, Spain (AP) — Alejandro Valverde took the overall lead in the Tour of Catalonia on Tuesday after fellow Movistar rider Jose Joaquin Rojas was penalized for helping teammates during the team time trial.

Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde. (AP Photo)
Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde. (AP Photo)

Movistar set the best time in the 41-kilometer (25-mile) time trial, but judges later said Rojas was among the team’s riders who pushed each other during the Tour’s second stage and gave him a three-minute penalty. Two other riders also were penalized.

Movistar dominated the time trial, finishing two seconds ahead of BMC Racing Team.

Tour de France winner Chris Froome finished 46 seconds off the lead with Team Sky. Froome is 18th in the overall standings.

The week-long race in northeastern Spain concludes on Sunday in Barcelona.

Riders on Wednesday face a stage of 188 kilometers (116 miles) from Mataro to La Molina.