Posted by Galius Sun on Saturday, April 8, 2017 Under: MOVISTAR Team
Movistar Team leader finally wins his first 'Itzulia' after brilliant TT in Eibar -2nd only to Primoz Roglic (TLJ)-, overcoming Contador (TFS) in last section after initial advantage for fellow Spaniard.
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) was finally able to cross out the Vuelta al País Vasco from his list of big victories still missing in his palmarès, fifteen long years after debuting in the race as a neo-pro in 2002. The superstar from Murcia got hold at last of the 'txapela' hat awarded to the 'Itzulia' overall victor following a breathtaking individual time trial in Eibar (27km), over a course very difficult from a strategical point of view -a climb right from the start ramp, Karabieta, 7km long, followed by a fast descent, where 'Bala' exceeded 100kph; lots of ups and downs combined with long straights in the final 15km- and against incredibly talented rivals, including Ion Izagirre (TBM) and Alberto Contador (TFS).
The Trek leader put a worrying 15" on Valverde after the ascent, a serious gap which 'Bala' started making up with a crazy descent. Alejandro crossed the intermediate split (12km) as 2nd within all participants, 9" behind Contador, and started to really turn things around into the slope of Soraluze (21km). Alejandro, tied with Izagirre at that point -the Basque eventually 3rd overall- and 6" behind Contador, managed his energy to perfection to strike once and for good: 6" over Ion and 20" on Contador through the last six kilometers were his decisive comeback, short only 9" to the stage win by Primoz Roglic (TLJ).
The 106th pro win by Valverde, who has reached 19 career victories in multi-day events (the second most successful active rider when it comes to GCs), is another boost in respect for a legendary cyclist -well supported by the whole Movistar Team, with De La Parte, Gorka Izagirre, Rubén Fernández, Moreno, Sutherland, José Herrada and Pedrero- who will now focus on the Ardennes classics -he's won seven of them in his career- starting next Sunday with the Amstel Gold Race.
In : MOVISTAR Team