Valverde (3rd) gets onto the podium at road race in Limburg after great performances from Lastras -with his long breakaway-, Castroviejo -working for the Spanish team- and Rui Costa, one step behind the top ten at the final sprint
Movistar Team closed today a sensational 2012 World Championships with the bronze medal by Alejandro Valverde in the 267-kilometer road race held in the Dutch region of Limburg. The Spanish team rider took the second medal for the telephone squad after Vasil Kiryienka’s third place in the individual time trial last Wednesday as he claimed his fourth podium finish, following the silver in Hamilton (2003) and Madrid (2005) and the bronze obtained in Salzburg (2006).
Valverde was one step from crowning an outstanding work piece from the national team, starting at the initial section before the final 10 laps in Valkenburg with a break of the day where Pablo Lastras protected the squad’s interests for the second time on a row after Denmark, 2011. The Madrilian kept the front until the final two laps after getting caught by a short field including Rui Costa and Nairo Quintana, following a crash that left out of contention Jonathan Castroviejo -doing a great team work again- and Andrey Amador.
The Spaniard and the Portuguese reached the last passage through the Cauberg with chances to win, before Belgian Philippe Gilbert launched his definitive attack for the win as Valverde chased his wheel with no success to end up in third place behind Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen, with Rui Costa in a great 11th at the group sprint.
QUOTES / Alejandro Valverde: “I’m happy, we’re taking a medal back to Spain with us and that’s really great. We thought that a bigger, stronger field would reach the finish and the idea in the finale was working for Óscar [Freire], but I was seeing at the last climb to the Cauberg that the gap behind Gilbert after his attack was serious, and Boasson Hagen and Kolobnev were also going ahead, so I chose to go ahead. I could reach the duo, but there wasn’t time enough to get to Gilbert and we played our cards for silver and bronze. You get the feeling that I would have made it to Gilbert if I had attacked earlier, but I’m content with what we achieved.”
With assistance from Luis Román-Mendoza / RFEC