Alejandro Valverde 8th at Imola Worlds – at 40 years of age
27 September 2020

World Championships

Spaniard from Movistar Team honours 'rojigualda' jersey again with committed performance in difficult Emilia-Romagna course, as Julian Alaphilippe (FRA / DQT) claims his first rainbow jersey.

Frenchman Julian Alaphillipe (DQT) claimed in Imola on Sunday his first world road race title after the 257km course in Emilia-Romagna, over nine laps of a tough circuit over the climbs of Mazzolano and Cima Gallisterna, saw him going into a memorable final solo. The race also witnessed Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team), supported by a solid Spanish national team including Blue team-mates Enric Mas and Marc Soler, leave everything on the road to get yet another good result.

Valverde and Enric Mas into the final laps of the World Championships. (c) BettiniPhoto

The marvel from Murcia, well supported until the last lap of a race where Tadej Pogacar (SLO / UAD) made the race contenders nervous with his early attack, couldn’t keep up in the last Gallisterna climb (-12km) against a six-man lead including Alaphilippe, who used it as launchpad for the rainbow jersey. Wout van Aert (BEL / TJV) took silver at the pursuit group’s sprint, ahead of bronze medalist Marc Hirschi (SUI / SUN), whie Valverde led home the third group alongside Michael Matthews (AUS / SUN) to take 8th place.

Valverde supported at the finish by long-time carer and friend Juan Carlos Escámez. (c) RFEC

It’s Valverde’s eleventh top-ten result in the World Championships, the 2018 winner in Innsbruck capping off a brilliant series of results in his 14 appearances in the event, with the all-time most medals for an individual (seven) and only three results outside of a top-ten he again got today.

Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto