Tour de France
2012 Tour becomes fifth consecutive three-week stagerace with a stage victory for the telephone squad since they wear the Blue outfit, protagonist again in the race
The 2012 Tour de France came to an end -with Wiggins taking the overall victory as Cavendish snatched the final stage honours in Paris- and it did again with satisfaction of accomplished goals for Movistar Team. The telephone squad closed another Grand Tour with a stage victory, something they have done since they unveiled their blue jersey last year in France with another podium presence. After victories from Ventoso and Kiryienka (Giro ’11), Rui Costa (Tour ’11), Lastras (Vuelta ’11) and Amador and Ventoso (Giro ’12), Alejandro Valverde wrote down his name into Movistar Team’s history last Thursday as he climbed towards an unforgettable victory in Peyragudes. The Spanish rider, 20th in the final overall, two places behind a notable Rui Costa (18th) who underlined again his bright future, obtained the 28th win from Eusebio Unzué’s squad in 30 Grande Boucle editions covered.
Valverde’s triumph increased to 23 the victory account by Movistar Team in an already brilliant 2012 season, and was worth the suffering from a really unfortunate Tour in its first week. Conditioned by several crashes that forced Rojas, Erviti and Iván Gutiérrez to give up with only six stages completed, the Spanish team bounced back the disgraced situation and found a prize to combativity shown by their riders. The team’s effort came to fruition last Thursday, where the big work made by all members allowed Valverde claiming a long-awaited victory, one of the two goals -the other one, a podium chance, was soon ruled out after crashes and punctures from the Spaniard- that Unzué’s squad could achieve after three weeks of much blood, sweat and tears of pain, but also of emotion.