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Valverde wins Vuelta stage; Brajkovic leads

9/1/2006

ALTO DE MORREDERO, Spain -- Janez Brajkovic of the Discovery Channel team claimed the overall leader's yellow jersey Friday after the seventh stage of the Spanish Vuelta.

Spain's Alejandro Valverde won the 95.8-mile stage from Leon to
the summit of Alto de Morredero in 4 hours, 1 minute, 5 seconds.

Carlos Sastre was four seconds back in second, with fellow
Spaniard Jose Angel Gomez Marchante six seconds behind in third.
Slovenia's Brajkovic finished seven seconds off the pace in fourth
to take the yellow jersey from Italy's Danilo di Luca, who slipped
to ninth overall.

"Brajkovic has offered us a glimpse of a great champion,"
Discovery Channel team manager Johan Bruyneel said. "I think our
rider is the future of cycling."

Saturday's eighth stage covers 112.85 miles from Pontevedra to seaside Lugo.