A Liege for Scarponi
Alejandro Valverde continues making history with each pedaling, with every triumph in the best competitions of the international calendar. This Sunday, he has done it again in Liege-Bastogne-Liège, the finish to a great week of cycling and the first spectacular part of the season for Valverde who is going to take a well deserved rest with eleven new victories, including his fourth LBL .
It was not easy. A start break was over 10 minutes ahead, with Movistar Team controlling the bunch. Valverde’s teammates decided to share the responsibility with other teams and in that moment the difference began to narrow. The break was hunted within the last 20 km. Then, an exceptional Movistar Team helped to neutralize the dangerous movements of Wellens or Formolo, the last one at the exit of St Nicolas.
Valverde himself took a last attack from Daniel Martin to face ahead the finish line and won his fourth monument, this one with a special dedication.
Quotes: “This victory is a tribute to Michele Scarponi. I was close friends with him and it made me really, really sad to see him go pass away so young, in such tragic circumstances. I just couldn’t believe it when I saw the news. It wasn’t just me, but the whole team, the whole cycling world. All prizes I get here today will go to his family.
“It’s a historical win – to be honest, it was a perfect week for us, even though it was so hard to get the victory today. Just like we did Wednesday at Flèche Wallonne, we took command of the race from the very beginning, yet there was a moment we left the front for other teams to take their turns, because the break was a big one and it would have been much more difficult to bring it back without help. Everyone was on the limit today. At the final slope in Ans, Martin really went hard to win solo, but I was looking for my distance to sprint, and with 300 meters to go, I just went on full steam to chase him down. Even though I saw Albasini sitting on my wheel, I had no doubts about carrying on. I was able to catch Martin, breathe for a few seconds and sprint to the line. Because of everything that happened yesterday, it’s undoubtedly my most special victory here. I want to thank my whole team, because they were incredible once again, and fulfilled their tasks perfectly so I could focus on pulling this off.”
Photo: Movistar Team