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Valverde’s third Volta a Catalunya GC win in pictures

26 March 2018
Imagen de la noticia ‛Valverde’s third Volta a Catalunya GC win in pictures’

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Photo Gomez Sport brings us the best shots from a perfect race for the Movistar Team, solid and safe through the seven days of competition, crowned with a ‘one-two’ for Alejandro and Nairo Quintana.

The Blue machinery worked to perfection in the 2018 Volta a Catalunya, where the lads directed by Eusebio Unzué claimed two stage wins -both with Alejandro, at Valls and La Molina-; a one-two in the GC, with Valverde and Nairo Quinitana; the KOM and Teams’ classifications and a 5th place overall with Marc Soler, best local rider of the race.

The following pictures -most of them shot by young, brilliant artist Luis Gómez from the Photo Gomez Sport agency- reflect on the efforts and success of an unstoppable squad from start to finish, claiming here their third WorldTour stagerace success so far in 2018 after Abu Dhabi and Paris-Nice.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

The seven Movistar Team riders lining up for the Volta: Erviti, Pedrero, Anacona, Soler, Quintana, Rojas and Valverde.

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Photo: Movistar Team

Nairo Quintana, one of the riders the fans sought the most at Calella’s start on day one.

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Photo: Movistar Team

Valverde, Quintana and Rojas were all smiles at the start of stage one.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Valverde, fully focused during the opening stage around Calella.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Pedrero leads the bunch through the Collsacreu climb (stage 1).

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Winner Anacona: an example of silent, effective teamwork.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Day two, joining Mataró and the late Xavi Tondo’s hometown Valls, was calm in its opening stages.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Quintana during stage two.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

The ‘Navarra Express’, Imanol Erviti, makes the whole bunch suffer during stage two.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

The final sprint of stage two in Valls, with Valverde seeking for the win and easily finding a spot to overtake the field.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Victories are better when shared: Valverde wins stage two in Valls as Rojas celebrates visibly happy behind him.

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Photo: Movistar Team

Valverde thanks Soler for his support after the Murcian’s first stage win.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Valverde receives the beautiful winner’s trophy of stage two in Valls: a colla castellera, typical from this town.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

First leader’s jersey for Valverde.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Alejandro in his leader’s jersey at the start of stage three in Sant Cugat del Vallés.

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Photo: Movistar Team

With no big mountains on the route of stage two -the finish atop Vallter 2000, where Valverde had tested his legs prior to the race, was suspended due to avalanche risk-, what Alejandro didn’t ever lack was support from the public.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Valverde and Quintana during stage three.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Soler picks up the pace on the final slopes of the Collabós climbs, with Valverde and Quintana on his wheel.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Valverde tries to calm the group down with a strong attack en route to Camprodon.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Nairo Quintana joined the breaks on the final kilometers of stage three and took 5th place in Camprodon.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

De Gendt (LTS) won stage three in Camprodon and momentarily took the race leadership off Valverde’s hands. Still, Alejandro did not lose his smile before stage four – though we can’t see it here.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Soler during stage four, finishing atop the Alp sector of the La Molina ski resort.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

One attack at a time, Nairo Quintana and the Movistar Team built the perfect scenario for Valverde’s chances.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Soler, always on the move during the Queen stage.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Valverde bests Egan Bernal (SKY) for his second stage win in La Molina.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Valverde hugs his team-mates after yet another win.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Joined by close friend and team carer Juan Carlos Escámez after winning atop La Molina.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Again in white and green.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Quintana signs autographs to Colombian fans in Llívia (stage 5).

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Two legends of Colombian cycling, Nairo Quintana and Esteban Chaves, during stage five.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Valverde did not experience any troubles to protect his leader’s jersey on the way to Vielha (stage 5).

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Photo: Movistar Team

16″ was the gap Valverde held over Bernal heading into the final weekend of racing.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

After a week full of dry roads, rain stroke hard during the penultimate stage to Torrefarrera, in the outskirts of Lleida.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Rojas protects the Blues a difficult stage six.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Valverde and Erviti -good friends, room-mates for many years at every race they both took part in- did not lose their good humour.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Fourth leader’s jersey: only one still to conquer.

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Photo: Movistar Team

Some extra energy for the last day: Pablo and Natalia, two of Alejandro’s four kids, at the start in Barcelona (stage 7). Judging by the people behind, surely Nairo was where Bala was looking at.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Egan Bernal did not stop trying it at the closing circuit in Montjuïc, before an unfortunate crash ruined his chances.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

The support by the team -here, Valverde with Pedrero- was fundamental from start to finish again on this final day.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Joining the final day’s numerous break attempts in Montjuïc, Soler came close to a stage win: 2nd in Barcelona, behind Simon Yates (MTS).

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Valverde with the overall winner’s trophy.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Quintana, runner-up in the GC.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Winners of the team GC.

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Photo: Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

Soler: 5th overall and best local rider.