REUS, Spain – South African Daryl Impey won the sixth stage of the Tour of Catalonia as Chris Froome fell out of contention after being trapped on the wrong side of a peloton split on Saturday.
Italians Alessandro De Marchi and Dario Cataldo looked set to contest a two-man sprint after jumping away from the leading group 15km from the end, but they were reined in within 50 metres of the line as Orica Scott’s Impey surged ahead.
The Tour de France champion was far back in the pack with all his teammates when it split in a descent, and the whole Team Sky lost contact with the leading group.
They gradually lost ground, then hope, as the gap increased rapidly.
Valverde now leads his compatriot Alberto Contador (Trek Segafredo) by 53 seconds and another Spaniard, his Movistar teammate Marc Soler, by one minute six seconds.
Sunday’s seventh and final stage will take the peloton over 138.7km around