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Valverde wins stage but Leipheimer leads

  • Story Highlights
  • Levi Leipheimer continues to lead Tour of Castilla and Leon after third stage
  • The American is 16 seconds ahead of his Astana team-mate Alberto Contador
  • The mountainous stage was won by Caisse d'Epargne rider Alejandro Valverde
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(CNN) -- American Levi Leipheimer continues to lead the Tour of Castilla and Leon from Astana team-mate Alberto Contador following the mountainous 157km third stage to the San Isidro ski station.

Leipheimer continues to lead the Vuelta of Castilla and Leon following his time-trial victory on Tuesday.

Leipheimer continues to lead the Vuelta of Castilla and Leon following his time-trial victory on Tuesday.

Leipheimer, the winner of Tuesday's individual time-trial, maintains his 16-second advantage over Contador after both riders finished in the lead group at the end of the stage, won by Spaniard Alejandro Valverde.

Caisse d'Epargne rider Valverde outsprinted compatriots Ruben Plaza and Javier Moreno in the final lunge for the line, to win in a time of three hours, 28 minutes and 16 seconds -- his first victory of the season.

Thursday's fourth stage sees the peloton tackle more mountains in a 145km ride from Santa Maria del Paramo to Laguna de las Peces.

It will probably be Contador's last chance to attack his team-mate in an attempt to retain the title for a third straight year.

Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong left the race on Monday after fracturing his collarbone in a crash.

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