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Again among the best

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Again among the best

Alejandro Valverde closed his twelfth Tour of Spain with a balance of two stage triumphs (Caminito del Rey and Almadén) and the green jersey of the points classification. In addition, he was key in the first place of Movistar Team in the squad classification, thus climbing twice to the final podium in Madrid.

Despite losing his chances of victory in Andorra, Valverde returned to fight with the best during much of the race, opting for the leader red jersey practically until the penultimate day and finishing fifth in the general classification. This is another remarkable performance for a rider, who at 38, continues to accumulate success in a season that began with victories in February and which still remains a great goal as the World Championship.

Quotes: You’ve got to stay happy when you give everything you’ve got. You must accept defeat – when you win, it’s all fantastic, but when you lose, you’ve got to recognise your rivals are better than you and move forward. I’ve been up there all Vuelta long and I can only be happy about that. Also because of the teamwork, my two stage victories, this green jersey and the team GC, which will get everyone on the podium. These final days haven’t been the ending I hoped for, but you’ve got to accept things like they happen. It hurts to be out of the podium, but when you leave everything on the road, you can’t really ask for more.

Photo: Luca Bettini / Bettini Photo