Alejandro Valverde keeps winning in the Tour of Spain. Bala achieved his second stage victory in the Spanish round this Saturday, beating Peter Sagan and Danny Van Poppel in a complicated final in Almadén. The Murcian, who at first did not think about the triumph, demonstrated again his excellent shape in the initial part of the race, overcoming several obstacles in the finish line.
This victory improves his legendary numbers. It is the eleventh success of Valverde in the Tour of Spain, the thirteenth of the season so far and the 121st as a professional.
As far as the competition is concerned, Alejandro remains second in the general classification, although he is approaching to the leader thanks to the bonus added in Almadén. Only 37” separate Valverde from Molard before the hard stage with final in La Covatilla.
Quotes: “I do am really surprised with this victory, to be honest. Even if I knew this finish would be tougher than a normal sprint, I didn’t expect it to be that steep. Arrieta was insisting to me on the radio, after our staff had arrived to the finish before the race, that it was an excellent finish for me. He told me: ‘Just follow the wheel of the one who overtook you yesterday.’ I told him: ‘Look, ‘Arri’, I won’t go chase the stage win. I’ll try to just not lose time, and that’s it.’ If you look at the finish, it was so nervous already before entering Almadén, but the team worked so hard to bring me to the front. Since it was uphill all the way to that roundabout with 500 meters to go, I sort of got into the mood to go forward, follow Peter’s wheel and contest the win.
“We’ll carry on with tomorrow’s stage with a mentality of remaining up there with the top contenders, and hopefully have a hot at the red jersey. Up until today, my goal was not losing time and claiming stage victories, like the two I’ve obtained. Tomorrow’s stage will be a clearer picture of what could happen in the remainder of the Vuelta. Nairo is feeling great, and either me or him -hopefully both of us- will try to stay there. After La Covatilla we’ll see if we focus entirely on Nairo’s chances or it’s my task to still contest the race alongside him. What I’m right now is really, really calm: two stage wins… it’s a relief for me.”
Quotes: Movistar Team
Photo: Bettini Photo