The first one
There is no bad bullet in Alejandro Valverde’s chamber. Sensational season premiere achieving the victory this Saturday in the Pollença – Port d’Andratx Trophy, fourth round of the Challenge de Mallorca, where the Murcian from Movistar Team had already warned, finishing second in the sinuous and demanding Serra de Tramuntana Trophy and sixth in the inaugural Calvià Trophy. This is a brutal start to the farewell season for the world champion and winner (so far) of 132 victories as a professional.
Valverde overtook the American Brandon McNulty (UAD) on the short climb to Mon Port; the winner on the first day after a long ride, the Russian Alexander Vlasov (BOH) and the Australian Michael Matthews (BEX), finishing off the fantastic work of their teammates in a very crazy day, marked by constant jumps that tried to break the group of about 40 men that reached the outcome with an advantage. Special mention to the work in the last meters in favor of Alejandro of the Colombian Iván Sosa and the local Enric Mas.
“The whole team has been perfect. We have always tried to control the race, and the team has behaved wonderful. We had to go fast to try to eliminate the fast people that were left in the group. We managed to cut off Matthews, who was the most powerful left, but I saw him come back with 250-300 meters to go and that’s when I started before he arrived, and I was able to get the victory.
For me, any race is already a tribute. I thank the organization for the detail they have had with me this morning; I have been able to return the favor and thank you with this success. It is the best way to say goodbye to this race, with two podiums, one victory… and already thinking about the next one, which is Valencia.
More than the age, it is the 20 years that I have been a professional at the highest level. It is something very, very difficult to achieve, not only physically, but also mentally, and even I am surprised that I am still here. When I was younger I made statements that at 34 years old I believed that I would no longer be racing. I’m going to be 42 in April and I’m still racing and winning.
I want to dedicate this victory, very especially, to two people. The first, to Egan Bernal. All my encouragement in his recovery, and hopefully we can see him restored very soon. And in second place, to Juan Carlos Unzué. In recent months he has been giving an example of strength and optimism to everyone, and in the team we are all committed to what he is doing. From here, a huge hug, hoping that we will see each other again very soon”.
Photo Gómez Sport / Sprint Cycling Agency