Alejandro Valverde says his team are very confident of victory at the Tour of Catalonia. Photo: Peter Dejong/AP

BARCELONA – Germany’s Maximilian Schachmann won a snow-shortened stage six at the Tour of Catalonia on Saturday after completing a long range breakaway as Spain’s Alejandro Valverde maintained the overall lead ahead of the final day.

Schachmann of Quick-Step Floors outsprinted his breakaway partner Spain’s Diego Rubio, to finish first in 2 hours, 34 minutes and 25 seconds after the stage had earlier been cut from 194 to 117 kilometres due to heavy snow in the Pyrenees. 

Ireland’s Sam Bennett led the peloton home 18 seconds behind Schachmann to claim third while Movistar’s Valverde retains the top spot overall, leading by 16 seconds heading into the seventh and final stage.

Valverde is trailed by Team Sky’s Egan Bernal and Movistar teammate Nairo Quintana, both of Colombia, with Quintana 26 seconds back. 

“Let’s see, it is clear that 16 seconds is a lot or it can be very little,” Valverde said. 

“Egan is very strong, I can feel him very close, but my feelings are good and the team is very confident.”

Sunday’s final stage offers ample opportunity to several types of escape and culminates in seven climbs of Barcelona’s Montjuic, where the final top 10 overall standings could take a considerable shake-up.