Team Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde of Spain (L) crosses the finish line to win the third stage next to his compatriots Team Katusha’s Joaquin “Purito” Rodriguez (R) and Team Saxo Bank’s Alberto Contador (rear), and Team Sky’s Christopher Froome of Britain during the Tour of Spain “La Vuelta” cycling race between Faustino V and Eibar August 20, 2012. (REUTERS/Felix Ordonez)

By Alasdair Fotheringham

ARRATE, Spain, Aug 20 (Reuters) – Alejandro Valverde won stage three of the Tour of Spain on Monday and moved into the overall lead.

Fellow Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez finished a narrowly defeated second in the four-man sprint that decided the mountain top stage, with Britain’s Chris Froome in third and Spain’s Alberto Contador in fourth.

After overnight leader Jonathan Castroviejo of Spain was dropped at the foot of the final climb of Arrate, repeated attacks by Contador saw the four top finishers go clear.

The Vuelta finishes on Sunday Sept. 9 in Madrid.