Dwars door Vlaanderen
Excellent debut by Movistar Team GC leader in the Flemish classics, fighting up-front until the very end of Dwars door Vlaanderen. Solo victory for Niki Terpstra (OPQ)
It had never happened in his twelve seasons as pro cyclist: Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team), over the cobblestones of Flanders. Wednesday would become a milestone with his appearance at the 201km Dwars door Vlaanderen, with more than ten ‘hellingen’ on the way from Roeselare to Waregem, and he covered it in impressive fashion, taking chances until the very end.
Always well protected by a telephone squad which fought to make the day’s break with Dowsett and Erviti, the Spaniard went into action at the Eikenberg, almost 60k from the finish, where he took a long relay at the helm of the main group. Reaching the top of three key climbs within the top guns -Taaienberg, Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg-, ‘Bala’ went on the attack with less than 20k remaining to respond a move by Stijn Devolder (TFR), the duo later joined by Nicki Sorensen (TCS) and Gert Steegmans (OPQ) as they tried to bring back a dangerous move by another Omega rider, Dutchman Niki Terpstra.
Alejandro’s brave effort did not go rewarded as their attempt was caught with 3k from the end -Fran Ventoso getting 12th in the sprint behind Terpstra-, but his courage and talent over the cobblestones are a true breath of fresh air for the Blues, who will tackle another two Belgian, WorldTour races in the weekend: the E3 Prijs (Friday) and Gent-Wevelgem (Sunday.)