Australia's Richie Porte has sealed victory at the Volta a Cataluyna despite Spaniard Alejandro Valverde winning his third stage of the seven-day race.
7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:35 PM

Valverde picked up 12 bonus seconds on Sunday thanks to the stage win and an earlier intermediate sprint, but Porte didn't lose any more time on the hilly 126.6km circuit around Barcelona to win by four seconds.

Victory continued 30-year-old Porte's fantastic early-season form, having also won his second Paris-Nice title just two weeks ago.

"I'll go home to Monaco and have a good week to rest, not do too much on the bike, and spend time with my fiancée," Porte told TeamSky.com.

"Then it's into training camp and Trentino. We've got a good little run-up to the Giro so we can hopefully hit that in top form. I'm quite confident now that I can go there and fight for the podium."

Europcar's Bryan Coquard was second in the stage just ahead of Russian Sergei Chernetski (Katusha), who won his first World Tour stage on Saturday.

Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r La Mondiale) was just a second behind Valverde in third overall, with two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) a further two seconds adrift in fourth.

"We wanted to try and get the overall win and we fought all day for it, although we knew it was going to be very, very difficult," Valverde said.

"We go away from here with three victories and second in the general classification, so you can't ask for more. It was a very balanced race."

An early three-man breakaway group of Marek Rutkiewicz, David Arroyo and Walter Pedraza was kept in check by Movistar as they looked to set up Valverde for a push at winning the general classification.

The 34-year-old then made his move on the last of eight laps up the Alt de Montjuic with 5km to go, but quickly abandoned hopes of making a solo run to the line as Pozzovivo and Porte followed him.

Cannondale-Garmin's Dan Martin attacked two kilometres later, but he too was caught in the final few metres as Valverde had just enough power to get to the line first in a congested sprint finish.

Stage 7: 126km, Barcelona
1 Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Movistar 2hr 47min 33sec
2 Bryan Coquard (FRA) Europcar
3 Sergei Chernetski (RUS) Katusha
4 Jarlinson Pantano (COL) IAM Cycling
5 Romain Hardy (FRA) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
6 Jose Joaquin Rojas (ESP) Movistar
7 Rigoberto Uran (COL) Etixx-Quick-Step
8 Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) AG2R La Mondiale
9 Rafael Valls Ferri (ESP) Lampre-Merida
10 Gianluca Brambilla (ITA) Etixx - Quick-Step

General Classification

1 Richie Porte (AUS) Sky 30hr 30min 30sec
2 Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Movistar 0:00:04
3 Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:05
4 Alberto Contador (ESP) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:07
5 Rigoberto Uran (COL) Etixx-Quick-Step 0:00:18
6 Fabio Aru (ITA) Astana 0:00:27
7 Darwin Atapuma (COL) BMC Racing Team 0:00:33
8 Rafael Valls Ferri (ESP) Lampre-Merida 0:00:43
9 Daniel Martin (IRL) Cannondale-Garmin 0:01:35
10 Jarlinson Pantano (COL) IAM Cycling 0:02:16