Valverde just short for first victory in rainbow jersey

9 February 2019
Imagen de la noticia ‛Valverde just short for first victory in rainbow jersey’

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (st. 4)

World Champion from Movistar Team takes 2nd behind Adam Yates (MTS) at Comunitat Valenciana’s Queen stage atop Alcossebre; sits now also 2nd overall with one day remaining.

Just as consistent as ever, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) was again really close to victory on the Queen, decisive stage of the 2019 Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, a race where he defended last year’s overall victory and sits now one day from stepping onto another GC podium finish after coming short for his first win in the rainbow jersey.

Valverde at the depart of stage four in Vila-real. (c) Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

The marvel from Murcia took 2nd, behind Adam Yates (MTS), at the end of the Ermita de Santa Llúcia climb, finishing point of a 188km journey in which his six Blue team-mates protected him perfectly and picked up the pace into the opening slopes of the Alcossebre ascent, 3km from the end.

An acceleration by Rubén Fernández and Rafa Valls, soon countered by a solo move from Merhawi Kudus (AST), split the bunch and left only the main contenders at the front, with race leader Edvald Boasson Hagen (DDD) quickly out of contention. Coming back and leaving riders behind through the last two kilometers, Valverde was only beaten by Yates, who attacked before the sprint, and now ranks 2nd to Ion Izagirre (AST) in the overall standings, the Basque having finished ahead of Alejandro in the ITT (-9″) and 4th today, 2″ back, at the mountain stage.

Fernández on the attack near the finish. (c) Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

7″ is the gap between the two former Movistar team-mates with one day from the end of the race, Sunday, with a flat 88km course from Paterna to Valencia, suited to the sprinters. Valverde is tied to Pello Bilbao (AST, 3rd), yet ahead of him by the race regulations by virtue of a smaller hundredths of a second in Orihuela’s time trial.

Cover picture (c): Photo Gomez Sport