Ruta Del Sol: Valverde makes it 3 from 3


Endura clad Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) won his third stage straight in the 60th Vuelta Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol (2.1)

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Valverde makes it 3 from 3

Alejandro Valverde and Movistar prove to be unbeatable despite team Sky having a good go at putting Richie Porte in the leader’s jersey. Valverde however raised his arms in victory on top of the Santuario de la Virgen de la Sierra de Cabra at the end of the longest day in this year’s Ruta del Sol.


The 197km route from La Guardia de Jaén was up and down all day through rough, hilly roads with the Movistar team in Endura kit leading the peloton in defence of the leader’s jersey held by Valverde. The constant and effective work by Erviti, Capecchi, Plaza, Moreno and Herrada kept the day’s seven-man breakaway in touch with under five minutes’ advantage.

The Movistar Team kept their pace steady to chase them down with 10k remaining. Valverde then had help by Ion Izagirre to resist the attacks from Team Sky and others. Valverde stayed calm as Sky led the bunch all the way to the finish with Alejandro only having to counter the attacks of Navarro (COF) and Scarponi (AST) before launching his fearsome sprint for a third consecutive stage win.

Alejandro’s lead in the overall standings after today’s victory, his own 76th win as pro cyclist, gives him an easier day on Saturday, a flat stage over 182 kilometers between Sanlúcar la Mayor and Sevilla prior to Sunday’s showdown near Málaga.

For team Sky, it was all hands on deck as each rider took a huge turn on the front as they powered up the Santuario Virgen de la Sierra de Cabra. The pace Bradley Wiggins, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Vasil Kiryienka, Peter Kennaugh and Geraint Thomas set on the final climb of the day ensured only 15 riders remained when Richie Porte was unleashed in the final 500m.

Porte gave it all he had in the final sprint for the line but Valverde (Movistar) had been sitting patiently on Daniel Navarro’s wheel and rounded the Cofidis rider before sealing a remarkable hat-trick of victories. Porte rolled home one second adrift in fifth position which meant the Australian defended his second place in the overall standings, 20 seconds behind Valverde and two ahead of the third-placed Luis Leon Sanchez (Caja Rural).

Alejandro Valverde: “It’s true that today’s break wasn’t so numerous, but we had to work the same way. Until the last climbs, there was no single stretch where my team-mates could take some rest, and that’s much wear and tear. At the foot of the final ascent, Sky went on a very hard pace, but I felt well climbing.”

“I was feeling better and better – I was very confident I could win the sprint. When you feel like I did, your body changes a bit, you end feeling tiredness a little less. When you have the chance to win, you must take advantage of every opportunity – that’s why I contested the sprint. But above all, I did it for my team-mates”.

“After all they did for me these two days, always there, they deserved this victory. Theoretically, the two stages left are the least dangerous in this year’s race, but we can’t lose focus – we must keep full attention to win this Vuelta.”

1. VALVERDE Alejandro Movistar Team
2. SANCHEZ Luis Leon Caja Rural – Seguros RGA
3. NAVARRO GARCIA Daniel Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
4. SCARPONI Michele Astana Pro Team
5. PORTE Richie Team Sky @ 1 sec
6. DEGAND Thomas Wanty – Groupe Gobert
7. MOLLEMA Bauke Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
8. KANGERT Tanel Astana Pro Team
9. GARCIA FERNANDEZ Marcos Caja Rural – Seguros RGA
10. IZAGIRRE Ion Movistar Team

1. VALVERDE Alejandro Movistar Team
2. PORTE Richie Team Sky @20 secs


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