Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) timed his sprint to perfection as he clinched Stage 3 at the Tour of Sicily – then immediately crashed after the finish.
The Spaniard, in his first race since fracturing his collarbone at La Vuelta in August, was seen gingerly returning to his feet after his surprise fall.
Davide Villella (Movistar) hit the front with a kilometre remaining, allowing teammate Valverde prime position ahead of a twisty finale.
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Villella shifted aside with 300m remaining, with Valverde fending off Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates) in the sprint.
Valverde moved into the overall lead with victory after Juan Sebastian Molano (UAE Team Emirates), winner of the first two stages, was distanced.
He leads the GC by seven seconds from Covi, with Jhonatan Restrepo (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec) two seconds further back in third.
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