3rd place for Movistar Team leader Valverde behind Kwiatkowski (OPQ) and Sagan (CAN) after solid team performance with notable effort from Andrey Amador.

(Brief) Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) became today the first Spaniard to take a podium place in the Strade Bianche, whose 8th edition turned into a top-class fight all the way through the 200km route -with ten sterrato sections of gravel over the hills in Tuscany- from San Gimignano to the Piazza del Campo in Siena. The Murcian took 3rd place after a race not exempt from incidents, as well for him -a crash with no consequences, 70k from the finish, forced him to get back to the main field- as for his team-mates, with several punctures along the way.

The selection through the demanding Monte Sante Marie left barely twenty riders up-front, with two members of the telephone squad: Valverde and Andrey Amador. The Costa Rican went made a surprise attack with five others riders, which opened a 20-second gap over the main favourites, but an impressive attack from Sagan (CAN), responded by eventual winner Michal Kwiatkowski (OPQ), brought them back and served as launchpad for the duo, both Andrey and Alejandro unable to follow their wheels.

Valverde would end up jumping away at Le Toffe, the last sterrato section, around ten kilometers from the finish, and after a short approach to the finish alongside Cunego (LAM), Kreuziger (TCS) and Cancellara (TFR), he attacked on the last uphill kick to claim third. Amador, just over five minutes behind, completed the Blues' fine performance in their second race of the season in Italy.

Article taken from Movistar Team News blog