Exhibition in Vuelta a Murcia
At the end of the race he was asked about which one of his five victories in Vuelta a Murcia was the best for him. Alejandro Valverde answered that he chose the one achieved this Saturday. The way makes the difference. Alejandro attacked on the first ramps of Collado Bermejo, 70 kilometers away from the finish line. Ahead, the hardest port of the day, a dangerous descent (with fog in the highest zone), another climb and a terrible plain for a lonely rider where the wind was blowing hard.
Valverde attacked and looked for the other cyclists’ help but no one followed him. He kept pushing when he crowned the Collado Bermejo. The 1 minute advantage soon became a 2 minutes one and, before the group of pursuers could realize what was happening, he was aproaching Alcantarilla with almost 3 minutes advantage. Valverde arrived to Murcia among the applause of the public. In addition to his great triumph, he has won also the first position in the classifications of the mountain and the special sprints and the special trophies Marco Pantani and Mariano Rojas.
Quotes: “It really was hard, mainly because of those strong headwinds in the later part of the race down to Murcia. I had planned to jump from the bottom of the Collado Bermejo, and I had my team-mates pushing hard from the Aledo part of the climb, but I was really hoping for someone to come from behind and take some turns with me. In the end, I saw I was alone and I told to myself: ‘I keep going on the descent, and should they catch me, maybe I can go for it in the sprint, and shouldn’t they, I win’ – and I made it to the finish. I just had to give it a try, even it it was so far away from the finish and it was a long shot, but that was the only point where I could win solo from. I took that chance, and I succeeded. It’s always special for me to win on home roads – this victory goes to all the people in this region, who always cheer for me so much when I’m racing abroad. It truly is the most beautiful of the five I’ve achieved here: it was a big effort and so tough to keep up against the wind and the climbs to win here. After Nairo’s success in Valencia, things are looking really promising for us this season – it’s just taking from where we left, after we won those four consecutive WorldTour titles all the way up to 2016. Now it’s about having some rest and taking the start of the Ruta del Sol on Wednesday. There, we’ll find Alberto Contador and many other big riders, and we will have to try and continue with this streak.”
Photo: Movistar Team