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Cycling - Lopez claims Tour of Catalunya as Astana win again

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(Reuters) – Astana’s stunning start to the season continued when Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez won the Tour of Catalunya on Sunday.

Lopez, who snatched the lead by winning an uphill finish at La Molina on the fourth stage on Thursday, held off his rivals in the final stage which ended in Barcelona.

The 25-year-old beat Briton Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), who went on the attack on Sunday, by 14 seconds in the overall classification and fellow Colombian Egan Bernal (Team Sky), recent winner of Paris-Nice, by 17 seconds.

It was the Kazakh-funded outfit’s 21st victory of the season after stage wins on Paris-Nice and Tirreno Adriatico as Lopez added to his Tour of Colombia title.

The stage was marred by a crash in a descent that took down Romain Bardet, who finished second in the 2016 Tour de France and third a year later.

AG2r-La Mondiale rider Bardet, along with fellow Frenchman Romain Barguil, the 2017 Tour’s best climber, abandoned the race.

There were no details on Bardet’s injuries while Barguil’s team Arkea-Samsic said he sustained cuts and bruises.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Davis)

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