BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Alejandro Valverde of Spain won the Tour of Catalonia for the second consecutive year after his closest competitor fell near the end of Sunday's final stage in Barcelona.
Valverde cruised to victory after Egan Bernal of Colombia crashed with less than 10 kilometers (6 miles) to go in the 155-kilometer (96-mile) stage won by Simon Yates of Britain.
"We started the season the best possible way," said Valverde, a three-time champion in the Tour of Catalonia.
Bernal, who entered the final stage 16 seconds behind Valverde, fell out of contention after he couldn't avoid contact with another rider who fell just in front of him. The Colombian hit the ground hard and needed to be attended by doctors while still on the ground. He was later taken into an ambulance with an apparent shoulder injury. Further details of the injury were not immediately available.
Valverde ended ninth on Sunday, securing a 29-second overall advantage over Movistar teammate Nairo Quintana of Colombia. Pierre Latour of France finished third overall, 47 seconds behind Valverde.
Spaniard Marc Soler was second in Sunday's seventh stage, with Latour third.
"It was very difficult from the beginning," Yates said. "I decided to try and go early, and it paid off. I wanted to try to get on the podium but I fell a little bit short."
The 37-year-old Valverde won two stages in this year's Tour of Catalonia. His other title in the race came in 2009.