The tenth victory
The returns of Alejandro Valverde usually come with triumphs. It was like this in the Route d’Occitanie, the race where the Movistar Team rider has returned to the competition three weeks before the start of the Tour de France. Valverde won at the top of Les Monts d’Olmes, ending of the 3rd stage of the race, beating the Spaniard Dani Navarro (Cofidis) and the local Kenny Elissonde (Team Sky), the two strongest cyclists with the Murcian in the hard and long climb.
The whole team worked perfectly for their leader, with a special mention for Rubén Fernández, who selected with a strong rhythm the group of favorites. Valverde becomes the new leader of the race, which ends this Sunday with a stage of 192 km and the Pic de Nore (1st) halfway.
Declarations: “It was a very demanding stage, and even if the weather conditions were really good for most of it, the final section was foggy and slightly rainy, and made for dangerous descents – but it really wasn’t that big of a problem. I want to thank all my team-mates, because they were phenomenal from start to finish. At the final split with Navarro and Elissonde, I was able to stay calm and follow their moves without much suffering – we were going on the attack in the beginning, but later understood it was better to cooperate and battle it out into the sprint. Sunday’s stage will be a difficult one, where we’ll have to work really hard to keep this jersey with us. For the time being, we’re really happy with this stage win and the GC lead.”
Statements: Movistar Team
Photo: La Route d’Occitanie