Alejandro Valverde wins 8th stage
COLLADO VIALBA, Andorra -- Alejandro Valverde overtook overall leader Joaquin Rodriguez and Alberto Contador on the final climb to win the eighth stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Saturday.
Valverde surged past the pair after the last turn to cap a grueling climb over the closing miles in a winning time of 4 hours, 6 minutes, 39 seconds.
Contador struggled in the Andorran Pyrenees before giving way to finish in the same time. Christopher Froome couldn't keep up with the Spanish trio and finished 15 seconds behind in fourth.
Rodriguez's overall time of 29:59:35 allowed the Katusha rider to stretch his overall lead over Froome to 33 seconds.
Contador dropped 4 seconds and trails the leader by 40 seconds. Valverde trails Rodriguez by 50 seconds.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press