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Valverde Captures 15th Stage of Tour of Spain - 2003-09-21

Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde captured the 15th stage of the Tour of Spain on Sunday, but his countryman Isidro Nozal remained the overall race leader.

Valverde edged Colombian Felix Cardenas in a sprint finish to win the 172 kilometer stage through Central Spain in four hours, 20 minutes and 39 seconds. The second-placed Cardenas was credited with the same time, while Roberta Heras of Spain was third, two seconds back.

The win allowed Valverde to move up a place to fifth in the overall standings, six minutes and 37 seconds behind Nozal. Nozal still holds a three minute and three second lead over second-placed fellow-Spaniard Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano.

Roberto Heras of the U.S. Postal team is third overall, four minutes and two seconds back. The 3,162 kilometer Tour of Spain ends September 28 in Madrid.