Always among the best
Alejandro Valverde keeps enjoying the Tour of Spain stage by stage. The final climb to Peña Cabarga, another explosive rise with steep ramps of more than 20%, proved again Valverde’s good physical condition. He remains on the podium after finishing in third place, just behind his mate Nairo Quintana, red jersey of the race, and Chris Froome, who won the eleventh stage.
Valverde advantages in more than 1’30” the colombian Esteban Chaves, who is fourth in the overall. The next stages in Bilbao, Urdax and Aubisque will be very important for the final part of a race that will be resolved in the time trial of Calpe and the rise to Aitana.
Quotes: “I remain happy about today’s result. We did a nice job. It’s true, Froome won, but Nairo proved to be as strong as him, and Chris only beat him into the sprint. I got that third place after working a bit for Nairo – you couldn’t do much else really, as the climb was short and there was no margin for playing strategy. As we all know, I’m into a completely new challenge for me, and it was clear to me that Froome would overtake me in the GC sooner or later. Fortunately, I remain in third spot. Our main plan today we letting a break go. The smaller the better, but having 23 riders ahead with no GC threats, it really didn’t matter to us. We had to keep our guys as fresh as possible. At some point, the gap was five minutes, but surprisingly, Tinkoff started pushing hard. We must congratulate them, as well as Froome, for the work they did today. It all remains as it was before today. The more time we get on Froome before the TT, the better. Today’s was another proof of the essence of cycling: sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.”
Photo: Movistar Team