It was a great start of Vuelta a Andalucía for Alejandro Valverde. The rider of Movistar Team got his second win of the season after beating Wouter Poels (Team Sky) and Sebastian Reichenbach (FDJ) in a group of six riders with Alberto Contador (Trek), Diego Rosa (Team Sky) and the Basque Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida).
The climb to the Alto de Monachil in the final part of the day broke the bunch. Contador was the first to attack but Valverde kept calm and caught him fast, demonstrating his excellent legs. Valverde tried it again before crowning the port. However, his pursuers reached him 5 km away from the finish line. Anyway, Alejandro proved he was the fastest of the group after getting his 99th victory as a professional.
This Thursday he will defend his red jersey in the queen stage of this edition of the race: 177 km with departure in Torredonjimeno and arrival in the Alto Peña del Águila.
Quotes: “We couldn't have started things off in a better way. For the time being, we've got a stage win - everything that comes after this is a gift for us. We knew that Contador would be doing well, and he showed he was willing to fight when his team started to take the reigns of the peloton without asking anyone to help them out. He played his cards and really made the difference, yet we defended ourselves well. GC-wise, we don't have any real, strict goals. We're in pole position, yet our rivals are going to be really strong, and the next two stages will change things a lot. The whole route on Thursday is very demanding, finishing off with such a difficult climb. It might be good for my chances, but anyone from those who made the front group today can do well either”.
Photo: Movistar Team