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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...
Valverde skips Tour of Flanders
March 29, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has ruled out racing this weekend's Tour of Flanders. Speaking with Spanish radio programme El Larguero, Valverde confirmed that he will stick to his original plan of racing the one-day Grand Prix Miguel Indurain on Saturday. We have been evaluating it, and in the end, I wont race the Tour of Flanders, he told the radio programme. We will go to Spain and on Saturday I will be in the Grand Prix Miguel Indurain. [Flanders] is a really important, beautiful race, but we decided to return home and it wasnt to be. I would like to race, but I have taken a lot from my body with continuous, really hard, racing. Indurain is a hard race, but not like Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT Valverde was in Belgium this week, with teammate Nairo Quintana, to ride Wednesdays Dwars door Vlaanderen as a test of the cobbles ahead of the Tour de Frances cobbled test in July. In an interview with Belgian broadcaster Sporza, the Spaniard suggested that he might extend his stay in the country to incorporate its biggest race. While the weather appears to have played a factor in Valverdes decision not to remain, he held his own against many of the top Classics stars. The Movistar rider remained in the lead group for the vast majority of the race, putting forward several of his own attacks in the process. He was unable to follow when Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First-Drapac) made the decisive split but came across the line in the second group to claim 11th place. I am tired and still cold, he said a long while after the race had reached its conclusion. They were 180 kilometres where it was raining all the time and two or three degrees, and we had a really hard race due to the weather. The weather was worse than the cobbles. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Valverde hints at racing Tour of Flanders
March 28, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has hinted he may stay on in Belgium after riding Wednesday'sDwars door Vlaanderen and line up in Sundays Tour of Flanders. Valverde is riding Dwars door Vlaanderen with Movistar teammate Nairo Quintana in order to get a taste of cobbled racing before this years Tour de France stage across northern France to Roubaix. He was expected to head home after todays race but is considering spending Easter Sunday at the Tour of Flanders. "It is not 100 per cent excluded. In theory, the Ronde is not on my programme, but we are close to Sunday and we are in Belgium." Valverde told Sporza.ADVERTISEMENT "I love the race route, which is very beautiful. The Ronde is a spectacular race, and I would like to be at the start even if I have never raced it before. Several Tour de France contenders have been preparing for the Roubaix stage of the Le Tour by riding cobbled Classics and other one-day races this spring. Valverde's teammate Mikel Landa rode last week's E3 Harelbeke, while Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) is also riding Dwars door Vlaanderen, and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) will ride the Tour of Flanders. Under UCI rules, a team can enter a rider for a race up to 72 hours before the start, with a final confirmation from that list obligatory on the afternoon before the race. A remarkable comeback but with fear of wet roads You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Valverde wins Tour of Catalonia for 2nd straight year
March 25, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) " Alejandro Valverde of Spain won the Tour of Catalonia for the second consecutive year after his closest competitor fell near the end of Sunday's final stage in Barcelona.Valverde cruised to victory after... More...
Pantano wins stage, Valverde keeps lead in Tour of Catalonia
March 23, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
VIELHA, Spain (AP) " Defending champion Alejandro Valverde maintained his overall lead in the Tour of Catalonia by staying near the front in a stage won by Jarlinson Pantano of Colombia on Friday.Pantano outsprinted Vegard Stake... More...
Valverde wins 4th stage of Tour of Catalonia, regains lead
March 22, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
ALP, Spain (AP) " Defending champion Alejandro Valverde regained the overall lead in the Tour of Catalonia by winning the fourth stage on Thursday.The Spaniard outdueled Egan Bernal of Colombia in the final climb of the 170-kilometer... More...
Valverde takes Tour of Catalonia lead with 2nd-stage win
March 20, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
VALLS, Spain (AP) " Defending champion Alejandro Valverde took the overall lead in the Tour of Catalonia by winning Tuesday's second stage in northeastern Spain.The Spaniard was in a group of seven riders who broke out from the... More...
Nairo Quintana on good form for Volta a Catalunya but says Valverde is likely better
March 19, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde will start the Volta a Catalunya as co-leaders of the Movistar squad, but Quintana has recognised that Valverde's form could well prove to be the stronger at this point in the season. Quintana's comment is the first indication of how the Movistar hierarchy of leaders may play out in a race in which both Valverde and the Colombian have shone in the past. Although Quintana has raced less than Valverde and the Volta is his first European race of the season, both have won the week-long Catalan stage race, Quintana in 2016 and Valverde in 2017. As if that was not enough of a strong hand, Movistar also have up-and-coming local racer Marc Soler, third overall last year in the Volta a Catalunya and the recent winner of Paris-Nice with a spectacular long-range, last-stage attack, in their line-up.ADVERTISEMENT Soler told reporters on the eve of the race that his role in the Volta this year would be one of domestique deluxe, helping Valverde and Quintana to get into a winning position "and then one of them could finish it off." A partial answer as to which of the two leaders might be the stronger came from Quintana on Sunday evening, who said, "We're both in good condition, and we'll start as co-leaders with equal levels of responsibility. But I'm sure Alejandro is in better form than me, and if I have to help him, I will." Valverde was less forthright, saying "we're all in good form, and the race will decide what happens. We've got a great team, but the others aren't lacking in top names. Sky, for example, have a great line-up for this kind of Volta, with a lot of climbing in it. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Abu Dhabi Tour: Stage 5 highlights - Video
February 26, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) continued his early-season winning comeback from the crash that ended his 2017 Tour de France with final day stage and overall Abu Dhabi Tour honours. The Spaniard was unstoppable in the summit finale at Jebel Hafeet, taking all before him and relegating Astana's Miguel Angel Lopez to second on the stage and third on GC. "As long as I continue winning, I will continue riding," Valverde said. "I don't know if I'm the best rider in the world, but I'm a rider who wins big races and is always up there." Race leader at the start of the stage, Rohan Dennis (BMC), had already been distanced on the climb and soon after the majority of the peloton as Valverde and Lopez skipped away. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) lead home the first chase group at 15 seconds but had to settle for fourth place overall. Wilco Kelderman crossing the line in Alaphilippe's group and taking third place overall.ADVERTISEMENT Kelderman's teammate Tom Dumoulin had another day to forget with a second mechanical in as many days ending any hope for a result or redemption for the time trial mishap. To subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel, click here. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Dennis: Valverde is the most threatening rider in Abu Dhabi Tour finale
February 25, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team) knows more than he could ever want to know about mechanical malfunctions in time trials, but while he was hardly unsympathetic to Tom Dumoulins plight on stage 4 of the Abu Dhabi Tour, he was just as relieved to have enjoyed a clear run himself. Saturday's 12.6km test on Al Maryah Island looked like coming down to the finest of margins between the two outstanding time triallists in the field when Dumoulin hurtled through the intermediate time check a mere second ahead of Dennis' provisional best mark. Dennis was already watching from the hot seat at the finish as Dumoulin looked to maintain his advantage over the back end of the course, but the world time trial champion's challenge came to an abrupt end when he was forced into a bike change due to a problem with the electronics in his rear shifter. A frustrated Dumoulin would cross the finish in 12th place, some 31 seconds down on Dennis, who ultimately took stage victory by 14 seconds from Jonathan Castroviejo (Team Sky).ADVERTISEMENT "Everyone knows all too well that Ive had my fair share of those sorts of issues and its never nice to lose a race because of that," Dennis said. "I still believe I would have won today, it was 31 seconds in the finish and we usually say a bike change is 30 seconds. So if he was one second up then he would have lost two seconds over the second part of the course. Im not going to say Im unhappy to win, but it is a shame that somebody loses in that situation." Beating Dumoulin in a time trial is by no means a novelty for Dennis, who claimed the opening stage of the 2015 Tour de France before enormous crowds in Utrecht, the bulk of whom were very loudly willing their man to be the first Dutch maillot jaune in a quarter of a century. At this point in his career, however, Dennis is more keen to try to match his contemporarys achievements in harnessing his time trial power in the high mountains of the Grand Tours. He acknowledged, too, that Dumoulins calm under fire was something to mimic. "Everything hes done is a confidence boost in whats possible for me," said Dennis, who will target a high overall finish at this years Giro dItalia, where Dumoulin returns as defending champion."I think were quite similar as riders, so if someone like him or even someone like Wiggins does it, then a Grand Tour is possible. Jebel Hafeet You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Movistar name Soler and Betancur in youthful Vuelta a Espana line-up
August 14, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
In the absence of Nairo Quintana and the injured Alejandro Valverde, Movistar has named a youthful team for the Vuelta a Espaa, which gets underway from Nimes on Saturday. The highly-rated Marc Soler makes his Grand Tour debut, while the mercurial Carlos Betancur will seek to build on his solid Tour de France performance last month. The Movistar line-up features no fewer than four Grand Tour debutants, with Soler joined in the team by Jorge Arcas, Richard Carapaz and Antonio Pedrero. That inexperience is balanced by the inclusion of Dani Moreno, Jos Joaquin Rojas, Nelson Oliveira and Ruben Fernandez. Quintanas decision to attempt the Giro-Tour double meant that a defence of his 2016 title was never on the cards, but Valverde " who has raced the Vuelta every season since he returned from a doping ban in 2012 " was long slated to lead Movistar in the third Grand Tour of the season. He misses the event after fracturing his kneecap in a crash in the opening time trial of the Tour de France.ADVERTISEMENT Betancurs 18th place overall in Paris was a rare bright spot in a trying Tour for Movistar. The Colombian rode strongly in support of Quintana and will hope to replicate that form in Spain. Betancur placed fifth overall at the 2013 Giro d'Italia, but has struggled to make an impact in Grand Tours since. Soler announced himself on the international stage by winning the Tour de lAvenir in 2015 before turning professional last season. The Catalan rider has quietly impressed this season, placing third overall at the Volta a Catalunya and riding to eighth at the Tour de Suisse in June. The veteran Moreno has been a remarkably consistent performer at the Vuelta over the years, and has never finished lower than 12th in his past nine appearances. Moreno was eighth overall in Madrid a year ago and should arrive in Nimes relatively fresh, having missed the Giro and the Tour. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Valverde crashes out of Tour de France
July 02, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) " Alejandro Valverde, a podium finisher in 2015, has crashed out of the Tour de France in the opening time trial on rain-slickened roads, dealing a blow to his teammate Nairo Quintana's hopes of winning the... More...
Alejandro Valverde undergoes emergency surgery on shattered kneecap after horror Tour de France crash
July 02, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from Mirror.co.uk ]
The Movistar rider lost control of his bike during difficult conditions on day one of the Tour and was rushed to hospital More...

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