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Chris Froome to begin 2019 season in Colombia
November 08, 2018 (12:15) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Chris Froome will begin his 2019 season in Colombia, confirming his presence in the Tour Colombia, which was run for the first time this year under the name Colombia Oro y Paz. New world champion Alejandro Valverde is also provisionally down to ride the six-stage mid-February race. Froome's participation has been on the cards for a number of months, and even during this year's race the Colombian Cycling Federation were talking up their hopes of landing the four-time Tour de France winner for the race's second edition. Froome recently visited Colombia to take part in Rigoberto Urn's mass-participation ride 'Giro de Rigo', and while he was there he paid a visit to the Federation to confirm his presence.ADVERTISEMENT "Hello friends," Froome said in Spanish in a video message. "I'm very happy to confirm my participation in the Tour Colombia, where I'll begin my 2019 season. Many thanks to the Colombian Cycling Federation for the invitation. See you soon." Froome has traditionally opted for a February start to his seasons. This year he began at the Ruta del Sol in Spain, as he did in 2016, while in the two intervening years he was in Australia for the Herald Sun Tour. Froome won the Giro d'Italia this year before finishing third at the Tour behind teammate Geraint Thomas, but he's expected to focus squarely on the Tour in 2019 in a bid to land a record-equalling fifth title. The inaugural edition of the Tour Colombia - the first international professional race in the country - was considered a big success. While the likes of Fernando Gaviria, Nairo Quintana, Egan Bernal, Rigoberto Urn put on a dramatic show in front of huge crowds, the organisers are hoping to attract more big names from outside of Colombia for the second edition. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Valverde off menu as Chrono des Nations waves Chavanel goodbye
October 28, 2018 (15:30) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
Newly-crowned world champion Alejandro Valverde will not participate in the prestigious French time-trialling event the Chrono des Nations, organisers said ahead of Sunday's event. Instead, Italian Vincenzo Nibali, the 2014 Tour de France champion, is the headline act -- although not necessarily More...
World champ Valverde eyes maiden Tour of Lombardy triumph
October 28, 2018 (15:30) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
Newly-crowned world champion Alejandro Valverde headlines the season-finale Tour of Lombardy on Saturday looking for his first win in a race where he has twice finished runner-up. Movistar rider Valverde will be challenged by the same rivals who were beaten for the world championships road race crown More...
Spain's Alejandro Valverde sprints to road race world title
October 28, 2018 (15:30) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
For the seventh time in his career, Alejandro Valverde stepped onto the podium after the men's road race at the world championships on Sunday. Valverde led a group of four in the final kilometer, and he just remained ahead in the sprint, with Romain Bardet of France taking the silver. Michael Woods More...
Rainbow jersey dream becomes reality for evergreen Valverde
October 28, 2018 (15:30) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
Veteran Spaniard Alejandro Valverde ended years of frustration to fulfil his "dream" of winning the world championships road race crown on Sunday after outpacing France's Romain Bardet and Canada's Michael Woods in a thrilling sprint for the finish line. More...
Valverde finally clinches coveted world road race crown
October 28, 2018 (15:30) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
Veteran Spaniard Alejandro Valverde ended years of frustration to win the world championships road race on Sunday after outpacing France's Romain Bardet and Canada's Michael Woods in a thrilling sprint for the finish line. "I knew I was possibly the strongest and was waiting for someone More...
Sastre's Tour de France win commemorated on 10th anniversary
October 28, 2018 (15:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Carlos Sastre was honoured on the 10th anniversary of his Tour de France victory with a ceremony in his home town of El Barraco, where the local sports facilities were renamed 'The Carlos Sastre Sports Complex'. The Spaniard won the Tour in 2008, beating Cadel Evans and Bernard Kohl to the top step of the podium. It was the crowning achievement of his career. This year marks 10 years since the victory, and celebrations were held on Saturday in the small town of El Barraco, in the province of Avila, west of Madrid.ADVERTISEMENT Five-time Tour champion Miguel Indurain, who handed the Vlo d'Or trophy to Alejandro Valverde on Friday, was present, as were fellow former yellow jersey winners Pedro Delgado (1988) and Federico Bahamontes (1959). Also among the hundreds of locals were Spanish national coach Javier Minguez and former team director Manolo Saiz. A ceremony was held at the town hall before moving to the sports complex to unveil the two pillars that now mark the entrance, one bearing his name and the other his face. Tras la recepcin a la comitiva en el Ayuntamiento de El Barraco, cuna de destacados ciclistas, la amplia comitiva dirigi a pie hasta las inmediaciones de la Ciudad Deportiva del municipio, que a partir de este sbado lleva el nombre de Carlos Sastre. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Unzue: You can't write off Nairo Quintana
October 28, 2018 (15:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Movistar team manager Eusebio Unzu has recognised that 2018 has been a difficult season for Spain's only WorldTour squad, but insisted that "apart from in the Grand Tours, the team have raced well". In terms of wins, Movistar have had four fewer victories than in 2017, dropping from 31 to 27. Alejandro Valverde's World Championships victory - albeit with the Spanish national squad - has, however, helped considerably to put a shine on the year. As Unzu put it, "it kind of saved the season for us."ADVERTISEMENT On another plus side, there was a big win in Paris-Nice for Marc Soler and a repeat victory in the Volta a Catalunya with Valverde. His failure to win two races he has dominated in recent years, Lige-Bastogne-Lige or Flche Wallonne this spring, was another setback. But as Valverde himself pointed out, those defeats have to be placed in the context of his comeback from a bad injury last July and, having trained very hard over the winter to regain top condition, he acknowledged that "by the end of April I was beginning to come up short". 2018 was the first time since 2011 that Movistar have failed to make it onto a single Grand Tour podium. Much of the media criticism for that under-achievement fell onto the shoulders of Nairo Quintana, who was top of the team's three GC leaders in the Tour de France but crashed and finished 10th, then was 8th in the Vuelta after ceding leadership to fifth-placed Valverde. Unzu nonetheless insisted in a team meeting in Navarre on Friday that his confidence in the Colombian remains intact for 2019. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Valverde awarded 2018 Velo d'Or by Indurain
October 28, 2018 (15:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Alejandro Valverde(Movistar) has been awarded the prestigious Vlo d'Or as the rider of the year, with Miguel Indurain, who won the first edition of the award in 1992, presenting him with the trophy on Friday. The Vlo d'Or is awarded by French magazine Vlo to the rider their panel deems to have had the best season. Another trophy, the Vlo d'Or Franais, is awarded to the best French rider of the season, and this year it went to Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ). Valverde wins the award after becoming world champion last month. The Spaniard had finished on the podium on six occasions but he finally reached the top step in Innsbruck as he came over the Hll climb with Romain Bardet and Michael Woods and out-sprinted them in the run to the line.ADVERTISEMENT Valverde didn't win either La Flche Wallonne or Lige-Bastogne-Lige this year - the first time he's gone without a win in the Ardennes Classics since 2013 - but he did win every week-long stage race he entered, with the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, Abu Dhabi Tour, Volta a Catalunya, and La Route d'Occitanie. He finished 14th at the Tour de France after working for teammates Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa, but went for the GC at the Vuelta a Espaa, finishing fifth overall after slipping off the podium in a final-day slump. Valverde ended the year as the top rider in the UCI's rolling ranking system, but missed out on the 2018 WorldTour crown to Simon Yates, with Peter Sagan also above him in second place. Valverde was not present at the unveiling of the route for the 2019 Tour de France on Thursday, where the Vlo d'Or is usually handed out, but he received his trophy as the Movistar team gathered for a first pre-season meeting in Pamplona on Friday. There to hand over the award was fellow Spaniard Miguel Indurain, who won it in 1992 and 1993. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Valverde ends season with 11th in Il Lombardia
October 14, 2018 (08:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) closed out his season with 11th place at Il Lombardia on Saturday, sticking with the best until the final attacks fromPrimo Rogli (LottoNL-Jumbo), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) relegated him to the role of chaser. The reigning world champion finished 1:31 down on winner Pinot in a five-man group that also included Egan Bernal (Team Sky), Michael Woods (EF Education First-Drapac),Sbastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ) and Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott). I felt the tiredness of this long season a bit today," Valverde said in a post on his team's website. "I didnt really feel bad and was able to stay close to the top contenders all day, struggling but fighting into those final climbs. However, youve got to be honest: there were some of the best in the world in this race, and they might have come to this race in better condition."ADVERTISEMENT Valverde was in the much-reduced peloton when Primo Rogli (LottoNL-Jumbo) attacked at the top of theSormano climb and blew the race apart.Toward the top, Nibali and Thibaut Pinot jumped out of the group, eventually catching Rogli and being joined by Bernal as well. Pinot eventually attacked Nibali with 14km to go and held off the defending champion for the win. Valverde simply lacked the horsepower to go with the winning moves, but in a season that has seen him take 14 wins, topped off with the world championship in last month in Austria, the 39-year-old Spaniard said he was not disappointed with his Lombardia result. "Disappointed about not winning? Not at all " not if you consider how Ive fared this season," Valverde said. "Id be sad if I wasnt able to stay on the bike and had to DNF, but I had on my mind this was one of todays likely scenarios. I can only be satisfied about my 2018 season and this rainbow jersey on my chest. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Valverde debuts rainbow jersey at Tre Valli Varesine
October 09, 2018 (19:15) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has begun his first race as the world champion, pulling on his new rainbow jersey for the Tre Valli Varesine in Italy on Tuesday. The Spaniard, who won the world title in Innsbruck at the end of September, unveiled his new kit at a sponsor event in Madrid on Sunday but Tuesday is his first racing appearance in the rainbow bands. "The truth is it's a very good feeling. It gives me pride to wear it, to be the world champion," Valverde said just before the start of the one-day race.ADVERTISEMENT "Today is a beautiful day, and I'm going to enjoy being on the bike as much as possible." Valverde's jersey features the Movistar logo and name in the team's colours, positioned just above the rainbow bands, with two further blue 'M's on the shoulders and smaller secondary sponsor logos in black on the chest and arms. The 38-year-old wore arm warmers on a slightly chilly autumn morning, featuring further rainbow bands on the forearm. His shorts are black with rainbow trim, but there is no rainbow customisation on his bike or accessories. "It's been very busy, with lots of events, here, there and everywhere, and not much training," Valverde said of his 10 days as the new world champion."I've just been enjoying all the tributes." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Spain's Alejandro Valverde sprints to road race world title
October 07, 2018 (13:15) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
INNSBRUCK, Austria (AP) " For the seventh time in his career, Alejandro Valverde stepped onto the podium after the men's road race at the world championships on Sunday.But for the first time he received the gold medal.The Spanish... More...
Vuelta a Espana: Valverde and Quintana stay ahead and out of trouble during stage 3
August 27, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
A prolonged acceleration by Movistar in the final kilometres of the Vuelta a Espaa stage 3 was seen as surprising by some race followers on a day expected to end in a bunch sprint and where the Spanish team had little to play for. But as both stage 2 winner Alejandro Valverde and GC contender Nairo Quintana explained afterwards, the Spanish teams aim had been nothing more than to ensure they stayed out of trouble in a tumultuous finale. Besieged by a small, fast-moving cloud of Colombian reporters as he wended his way towards the Movistar team bus, Quintana finally stopped at the foot of the buss stairs to explain to the ever-persistent South American media and other journalists why Movistar had adopted this unexpected strategy.ADVERTISEMENT The idea was to move ahead on that long descent to the finish to avoid any dangers or splits in the sprint, Quintana said. That was the most important thing today, we didnt want to fight for the stage win, just avoid crashes. It was an incident-free day and the team was with us all the way. Valverde was equally determined to brush off any ideas of repeating his stage 2 win. Even though he started out his professional career as a sprinter, and he remains a formidable fastman on the uphills - as Kwiatkowski saw on Sunday - it has been a long time since Valverde went for a more straightforward bunch sprint, or as the Spanish would say, it has rained since then. I was well placed just to avoid crashes, nothing more than that. There was no way I was going for the win, Valverde said. I felt good, even though its been another day of intense heat. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Valverde wins 2nd Vuelta stage, Kwiatkowski takes lead
August 26, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
CAMINITO DEL REY, Spain (AP) " Alejandro Valverde won the second stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Sunday, with Michal Kwiatkowski taking the overall lead.Valverde beat Kwiatkowski in the final meters of an uphill sprint to win the... More...
Valverde shows flying form with 10th Vuelta a Espana stage win
August 26, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Alejandro Valverde gave Movistar its first victory of the 2018 Vuelta a Espaa on Sunday, taking out stage 2 to Caminito del Rey over new race leader Michal Kwiatkowski.The win was the 120th career victory for the 38-year-old, and his 10th stage win in his home Grand Tour. The victory came after some aggressive pace-making by Movistar and Team Sky, which split the peloton before it even reached the long but shallow category 3 finishing climb, and signaled Valverde's return to form after a disappointing Tour de France. "Before the start, we already had clear instructions of going to the front with the whole team into the final circuit, because there were dangerous, narrow sections where you had to take over if you didn't want to get caught out of position,"Valverde said.ADVERTISEMENT There were indeed a number of contenders who were distanced - overnight leader Rohan Dennis and his BMC teammate RichiePorte lost 13:31, as did Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and world championPeter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe). Others were dropped later, with Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) losing four minutes, Dan Martin (UAETeamEmirates) gave up 1:15, and others like Miguel Angel Lopez(Astana) and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) conceded a handful of seconds. "The heat really hurt a lot of people,"Valverde said. "I was surprised to see so many riders dropping back though. Hearing on the radio that real contenders for this win were getting out of contention, we were more motivated about seeking for this victory." Quick-Step's Laurens De Plus lit up the finale with a searing attack with 1km to go and, though he didn't get a big gap, he continued to carve out time until the steep final pitch when Valverde and Kwiatkowski surged out of the chasing bunch. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Quintana, Valverde headline Movistar's team for Vuelta a Espana
August 20, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
After Movistar struggled to realize their Tour de France ambitions, Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde will have another shot at a Grand Tour victory, with the Colombian and Spaniard set to headline the team for the Vuelta a Espaa. Quintana won the race in 2016, while Valverde was the overall winner in 2009 at a time when his participation was clouded by him being linked to Operacin Puerto blood bags by DNA evidence and banned in Italy. CAS would later impose a two-year ban but allowed his Vuelta title and other results to stand. Movistar manager Eusebio Unzu will look to improve upon the team's Tour de France performance, where Quintana won stage 18 to move into 5th place overall only to crash the next day and fade to 10th. Valverde, who sacrificed his race to set up his teammates in the Alps, finished 14th.ADVERTISEMENT The squad will not head to the Vuelta with the same triple-leader strategy, as Mikel Landa has been ruled out of racing due to injuries from a crash in the Clsica San Sebastin. Instead, the squad will rely on Andrey Amador, Imanol Erviti, Daniele Bennati - who also raced the Tour de France - Winner Anacona, Richard Carapaz and Nelson Oliveira to support Quintana and Valverde. The 2018 Vuelta a Espaa starts in Mlaga with an 8km individual time trial before a short uphill finish in Caminito del Rey the following day. The race's first summit finish comes on stage 4 with the category 1 Puerto de Alfacar, but the key stages come later in the race, with a trio of mountain finishes in La Camperona on stage 13, Les Praeres Nava on stage 14, and Lagos de Covadonga on stage 15, followed by the final week's stage to Balcn de Bizkaia in the Basque Country and then the finale in Andorra on stages 19 and 20. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Valgren drops Sagan, Valverde to win Amstel Gold Race
April 28, 2018 (22:15) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
Denmark's Michael Valgren of Astana won the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday, beating Roman Kreuziger in a cat-and-mouse finale after a rolling 263km race from Maastricht. Italy's Enrico Gasparotto was third by a few seconds while pre-race favourites Peter Sagan and Alejandro Valverde came fourth More...
Valverde vows to return to Fleche Wallonne fray for sixth title
April 18, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
There are plenty of cliches out there about nothing lasting forever, but five years represent an eternity in the intense world of Classics racing. So when Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) failed to triumph in La Flche Wallonne on Wednesday for the fifth April in a row, it represented a shocking defeat with a capital S. But if Valverde was disappointed, he did not show it too much, pointing out afterwards that he had been the rider that ran Alaphilippe the closest and promised to return to the fray in the years to come. At the same time, as Jelle Vanendert (Lotto-Soudal), the other rider on the Flche Wallonne podium pointed out, from the moment the race had tackled the Mur for the first time, and the attacks began to rain down on Movistar, "it had felt different to other years.ADVERTISEMENT "For the first time in five years, it was as if we all realised that to beat Valverde; we had to put him under pressure well before the finish." Sitting in the press conference, where - to his immense credit - Valverde seemed as happy to answer questions after finishing second as he had done when he won, the Movistar leader recognised that it had been a higher-pressure race than other years. "Everybody raced hard against me, but it was clear that I was the man to beat, and that's normal. At the start of the race, I was the big favourite. But I'm still going away feeling pleased with how I raced because I did everything I could. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Alaphilippe dethrones Valverde as King of La Fleche Wallonne
April 18, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
After four straight years of domination of La Flche Wallonne by Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Julian Alaphilippe's defeat of the Spaniard on the Mur de Huy on Wednesday had a real feel of an end of an era. Not since Tom Boonen in 2004-2007 at E3 Harelbeke has a rider remained unbeaten in a major race for so long as Valverde in Flche Wallonne. And if by some twist of fate, Alaphilippe were to stop racing tomorrow, his defeat of Valverde on the Mur de Huy will be seen by many as the standout moment of his career. Victory in La Flche Wallonne is the first Classic win of Alaphilippe's career, too, as well as France's first in the race since Laurent Jalabert back in 1997. But as Alaphilippe was quick to admit afterwards, it was beating Valverde, dubbed the King of the Mur de Huy since 2014, that made it even more exceptional.ADVERTISEMENT "I've been twice on the podium here before today and the first time [in 2015] was a surprise, and the second the confirmation of my earlier result," Alaphilippe said. "But I really needed to win a big race, and to do that and get my first Flche Wallonne ahead of Valverde is something very special." Explaining his lack of celebrations as he crossed the line, Alaphilippe revealed that "I didn't think I had won. I thought [Vincenzo] Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) was still ahead after breaking away. Then my cousin, who was waiting on the line, told me I had got it." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Valverde's successful 2018 continues with GP Miguel Indurain triumph
April 01, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Alejandro Valverde's decision to skip the Tour of Flanders has proved fruitful with the Spaniard taking a solo win at the GP Miguel Indurain. Valverde was 11th at Dwars Door Vlaanderen on Wednesday and was on the cusp of making his debut at De Ronde. The 37-year-old though decided against racing the Belgian monument to line at Movistar's home race where he added to his 2014 triumph. Valverde was 40th on his season debut at Trofeo Campos, Porreres, Felanitx, Ses Salines, his first race after breaking his kneecap at the 2017 Tour de France, with 11th at Dwars door Vlaanderen his lowest result since. The GP Miguel Indurain is now Valverde's ninth win of the season after also tasting success with stage and overall success at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, Abu Dhabi Tour, and Volta a Catalunya. "Yes, another one! I'm super happy to win this race because everything that meant for the team, with that tribute to Jos Miguel Echvarri by the event's organisers. It's always a beautiful event, but I was especially willing to come here this season and be present, because of him," Valverde said of his former team manager.ADVERTISEMENT With two kilometres to race, Valverde made his winning move with time to soak in the occasion and celebration his victory without worry of being caught by Carlos Verona and Nick Schultz who rounded out the podium. "It was a fast race, a quite windy one, yet the team kept everything under control all day, pacing themselves brilliantly," he added. "There were many teams trying to go on the attack into that final circuit -Mitchelton and Katusha were the ones making things hardest for us-, but we make the right moves and at the Eraul climb, I decided to attack and [Carlos] Verona and myself could stay away. Hats off to Carlos, because his performance today against me was excellent." Valverde won't defend his Vuelta a Pais Vasco title from Monday where Mikel Landa and Nairo Quintana will lead the team, preferring instead to race the one-day Klasika Primavera next Sunday. The Spanish race his final tune-up before heading to the Ardennes where Valverde is aiming to add to his five La Flche Wallonne and four Lige-Bastogne-Lige titles and win a maiden Amstel Gold Race. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...

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