Valverde claims third consecutive Vuelta a Andalucía, equals best season start - Movistar Team victory tally up to 7, biggest account in four years with Blue jersey.

(Brief) The expected script was played to perfection by Alejandro Valverde in the final day of the 2014 Vuelta a Andalucía. The Murcian has made history in the Ruta del Sol by becoming the first-ever rider to take three overall victories in southern Spain, and claiming them consecutively. The Movistar leader and his team-mates had no troubles during a hilly, 160km stage from Ubrique and Fuengirola. That was the day's overview even though the opening three rated climbs saw an eight-man break going away with the presence Amets Txurruka (CJR), less than three minutes adrift in the GC.

The incalculable work by the telephone squad, which never let the attempt go away more than reasonable, was supported by several squads as Tom Dumoulin (GIA) tried to go solo from the lead group with about 20km remaining. Several attacks, including José Herrada, caused the Dutchman being caught into the fast, final descent. Moreno Hofland (BEL) took the bunch sprint as Valverde celebrated a success that increased the Blues' 2014 victory account to seven, the best figure in four years in Movistar colours.

The outstanding team result was complete with the 4th place by a tenacious, wilful Ion Izagirre. Valverde, 77 wins as pro rider, adds the Points classification to his GC conquest for the best season-start numbers in his career, equalling the four triumphs -one win in Mallorca, two stages and overall in Andalusia- he claimed in an ever-consistent 2013.

Vuelta a Andalucía

Results / Stage 5

23/2/2014

Riders overall