A season full of success and great challenges
With the dispute last Saturday of Il Lombardia, Alejandro Valverde put an end to a long 2016, the year in which the Movistar Team rider has participated in all three Grand Tours of the international calendar: Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Tour of Spain. A successful course, in which he has achieved seven wins and positions of honor as the third place in the overall of his first Giro, undoubtedly one of the most exciting races of this campaign.
The competition began in late January in Mallorca and continued with a second place in Tour of Murcia and a double triumph in Andalucía. After a first trip to Italy (Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo and Tirreno-Adriatico), Alejandro won the general of Castilla y León before reaching his fourth Fleche Wallonne with astonishing superiority.
After a Liege-Bastogne-Liege marked by the adverse weather conditions, Valverde made his debut in the Giro d’Italia showing a high level along three of the most spectacular weeks of this season. Stage winner in Andalo, Valverde finalized third the general of the Italian round, just 1’17” behind the winner Vincenzo Nibali and less than half a minute of the second Esteban Chaves.
Once the Giro was finished, was time for the Tour, where Valverde put himself at Nairo Quintana service. Despite his work on behalf of the Colombian and the accumulated fatigue after the Italian race, Valverde completed another excellent Grande Boucle, finishing sixth in the overall and riding always with the best in the mountain stages.
He won a podium in San Sebastian and, without time to rest, flew to Brazil. There was waiting the toughest Olympic race since the professionals started to struggle for medals. Despite the enthusiasm and the work done, Valverde felt the fatigue after so many days of competition and he decided to work towards Joaquim Rodriguez. However, after several days resting at home, he faced the challenge of the three Grand Tours in the same season in a Tour of Spain who Nairo Quintana won.
With his sixth position in Il Lombardia a great season ended, a year in which Valverde was the rider of the peloton with more days of competition (93). Furthermore, he has achieved the fourth place in the UCI World Tour.
Photo: Movistar Team