Tour de Romandie (st. 1)
Alejandro Valverde tries his way off the bunch again through Plagne climb, stays with Rui Costa into overall top ten after nervous stage two
Movistar Team is willing to shine in the 2013 Tour de Romandie, and the Blues went to show it on Thursday during stage two, a 190km trek from Prilly to Granges including the Cat. 3 climb of Plagne just 17k from the finish. Alejandro Valverde turned 33 today as one of the biggest stars in the sport and wanted to celebrate it putting Chris Froome’s Sky train under pressure again today within the flurry of attacks in the final two kilometers of the climb. The Spaniard’s short attempt, quickly suffocated by the British team, splitted the bunch as it did yesterday, with just about 80 riders at the front -within those, Valverde himself, with Rui Costa, Plaza, Capecchi and Szmyd from the telephone squad-.
Lithuania’s Ramunas Navardauskas (GRS) won in front of Enrico Gasparotto (AST) at the field sprint, with the two Movistar Team leaders safely into the top 20; Costa (5th) and Valverde (8th) are still less than 20 seconds behind the yellow jersey before stage three -181k in and around Payenne- puts again Froome under pressure with plenty of climbs into the final circuit, featuring the Cat. 3 cols of Sassel and Châbles in the final 45k.