Puts a backnumber on after 54 days
Movistar Team leader tests his legs in Route d’Occitanie opener: leading the bunch, attacking into final circuit, leading Carlos out to Blues’ best result of the day behind winner Bouhanni (COF).
Alejandro Valverde showed some good legs in the first race day of his second half of the 2018 season. The Spanish legend from the Movistar Team gladly took over his captain role from the very start of the 168km journey from Cap Découverte to Carmaux, the first stage of a Route d’Occitanie where the Blues covered ‘Bala’ well for the entire route.
Active at the front of the bunch into the early hills, and also attentive to the moves into a rolling final circuit, the Blue leader led out fellow countryman Carlos Barbero at the uphill finish, where the Burgos native took 5th place behind Cofidis duo Nacer Bouhanni and Christophe Laporte. Alejandro finished in 7th.
Barbero and Valverde now sit seventh and ninth overall before another up-and-down course to Masseube on Friday -173km, stage two- before the big Pyrenean stage on Saturday, finishing atop the Cat-1 climb of Les Monts d’Olmes.
- 01 Nacer Bouhanni Cofidis 4h12'32"
- 02 Christophe Laporte Cofidis "
- 03 Bryan Coquard Vital Concept "
- 05 Carlos Barbero Movistar Team "
- 07 Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team "
- 40 Rubén Fernández Movistar Team "
- 50 Nuno Bico Movistar Team "
- 53 Eduardo Sepúlveda Movistar Team "
- 59 Dayer Quintana Movistar Team "
- 64 Antonio Pedrero Movistar Team "
- 01 Nacer Bouhanni Cofidis 4h12'22"
- 02 Christophe Laporte Cofidis +4"
- 03 Meron Abraham Bike Aid "
- 07 Carlos Barbero Movistar Team +10"
- 09 Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team "
- 42 Rubén Fernández Movistar Team "
- 52 Nuno Bico Movistar Team "
- 55 Eduardo Sepúlveda Movistar Team "
- 61 Dayer Quintana Movistar Team "
- 66 Antonio Pedrero Movistar Team "