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Valverde crashes out of Tour de France
July 02, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) " Alejandro Valverde, a podium finisher in 2015, has crashed out of the Tour de France in the opening time trial on rain-slickened roads, dealing a blow to his teammate Nairo Quintana's hopes of winning the... More...
Alejandro Valverde undergoes emergency surgery on shattered kneecap after horror Tour de France crash
July 02, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from Mirror.co.uk ]
The Movistar rider lost control of his bike during difficult conditions on day one of the Tour and was rushed to hospital More...
Valverde to 'support Quintana, and nothing else' at Tour de France
June 24, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Alejandro Valverde has sought to quell any hint of a Movistar leadership dilemma at the Tour de France, insisting he is riding to "help Nairo [Quintana], and nothing else". Valverde has ridden three Tours with Quintana, yet question marks have arisen over his commitment to the Colombian's cause, notably in 2015 when it was suspected he was reluctant to risk a first podium finish for himself by putting more pressure on Chris Froome. The way the results have gone this season have added another layer of interest. Valverde's first half of the season was simply phenomenal and saw him win classics like Lige-Bastogne-Lige and Flche-Wallonne, along with three overall stage race titles at Ruta del Sol, Volta a Catalunya, and Vuelta al Pas Vasco. Quintana, meanwhile, has taken on the notoriously difficult challenge of targeting the Tour de France after the Giro d'Italia just over a month previously, where he seemed to lack his customary zip and finished second to Tom Dumoulin.ADVERTISEMENT "My goal is clear, and I've stated it many times: supporting him, and nothing else. We'll be backing Nairo 100 per cent," Valverde said in a Movistar interview on Saturday, adding that a strong GC position for himself would strengthen Quintana's tactical hand. "Anything that happens after that on the road is something we can't really plan on. Obviously, I can't lose much time, with the strategical interests of the team. We believe that my position can also be important, tactically. If things go right and we both remain up there in the overall standings, our rivals will have to take precautions against both of us - which might turn out to be good for the team." After his glittering start to the season, Valverde took a break after Lige to prepare for the second half, which will comprise the Tour de France, Vuelta a Espaa, and World Championships. It wasn't much of a break, though, as he only spent around a week off the bike, before a three-week block of altitude training in the Sierra Nevada. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Quintana and Valverde lead Movistar's 12-rider Tour de France pre-selection
June 13, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde lead the way in Movistars Tour de France long list. The Spanish team confirmed the 12 riders that are in the running to fill the remaining seven spots for the race in July. The team will name the final nine-man line-up following the national championships in Europe next week. Quintana heads to the Tour de France after finishing second to Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) at the Giro dItalia. The Colombian had hoped to win both the Giro and the Tour this season. He has not raced since the Giro dItalia finished at the end of last month. He had been pencilled in to ride the Route du Sud later this week but pulled out citing fatigue from his efforts in May. In contrast, Valverde has not ridden a Grand Tour yet this season. The 37-year-old has just finished the Criterium du Dauphine, where he finished ninth overall. Valverde rode an aggressive race but found himself struggling when the major attacks came in the stage finale. He did, however, pull out a strong performance in the time trial that saw him finish third on the stage.ADVERTISEMENT In the running for a place in Movistars squad are Andrey Amador, Daniele Bennati, Carlos Betancur, Jonathan Castroviejo, Alex Dowsett, Imanol Erviti, Rubn Fernndez, Jess Herrada, Dani Moreno, Nelson Oliveira, Jos Joaqun Rojas and Jasha Stterlin. Amador, Bennati and Rojas all rode with Quintana at the Giro dItalia and, like their team leader, have not competed since its completion. Betancur has been on good form this month with a strong performance in the Climb race of the Hammer Series. This weeks Tour de Suisse will be a major test for the Colombian, as it will be for Dowsett, Oliveira and Castroviejo. Betancur has often struggled to adapt to living in Europe for part of the season and missed large chunks of his programme during his final seasons with AG2R La Mondiale. He joined Movistar last year and took some early wins, but had a string of abandons in the latter part of the season. If he can back up his Hammer Series ride with a strong performance in the Swiss mountains, then he could be a sure bet for his debut Tour de France. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Porte, Fuglsang climb WorldTour rankings as Van Avermaet holds firm
June 13, 2017 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) is still holding firm after almost three months atop the WorldTour rankings. Van Avermaet soared into the lead after a stellar start to his Classics campaign and built up such an advantage that he has been untouchable so far, despite not scoring points since Liege-Bastogne-Liege in April. He still has 423 points over the next best rider in the standings, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). Valverde finds himself in a BMC Racing sandwich, with Richie Porte jumping from seventh to third following a strong ride at the Criterium du Dauphine. Porte did not win the French stage race, after being pushed out of the yellow jersey on the final day of racing, but still clocked up 505 points over the weeks racing. The man who beat Porte to victory on Sunday, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), has climbed from a lowly 105th in the standings to just outside the top 20. Hes still a long way off the top 10, but his points haul has moved Astana from 17th up to 15th in the team rankings. Theyll be hoping for some good fortune at the Tour de France to help them climb a little higher by the end of the summer.ADVERTISEMENT Back in the individual standings, there were a few more movers and shakers. Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) made it into the top 10, while Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) and Daniel Martin (Quick-Step Floors) both moved up places " to fourth and seventh respectively " as Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) both slipped back. Dumoulin is likely to make some ground back up at this weeks Tour de Suisse. Despite having two riders in the top three, BMC Racing are still some way behind the leaders of the team competition, Quick-Step Floors. The latter has four riders in the top 20, with Martin, Philippe Gilbert, Fernando Gaviria and Julian Alaphilippe. BMC Racing has just Van Avermaet and Porte, with their next best rider Rohan Dennis down in 27th. Dennis took victory in the Tour de Suisse prologue and wore the race leaders jersey for a day, as did his teammate Stefan Kung. However, Gilbert also claimed a stage for Quick-Step Floors so that 1,752-point gap is unlikely to close too much. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Alejandro Valverde wins Tour of Catalonia for 2nd time
March 26, 2017 (12:15) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) " Not even a one-minute time penalty could stop a dominant Alejandro Valverde from winning his second Tour of Catalonia.Valverde secured the victory by finishing first in the 139-kilometer (86-mile) seventh... More...
Valverde eyes Tour of Catalonia title after Froome fades
March 25, 2017 (14:15) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
REUS, Spain (AP) " Chris Froome fell out of contention for the Tour of Catalonia after ceding over 25 minutes to leader Alejandro Valverde during the sixth stage on Saturday.A group attack that included Valverde's Movistar broke... More...
Alejandro Valverde retakes overall lead of Tour of Catalonia
March 24, 2017 (21:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
TORTOSA, Spain (AP) " Alejandro Valverde defeated Chris Froome and Alberto Contador to win the decisive fifth stage of the Tour of Catalonia on Friday and take the overall lead going into the weekend.Valverde won after dominating... More...
Van Garderen leads Tour of Catalonia; Valverde penalized
March 22, 2017 (21:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
LA MOLINA, Spain (AP) " Alejandro Valverde won the third stage of the Tour of Catalonia but lost the overall lead to American rider Tejay van Garderen after the Spaniard's Movistar team was penalized on Wednesday.Valverde beat Daniel... More...
Alejandro Valverde takes Tour of Catalonia lead
March 21, 2017 (21:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
BANYOLES, Spain (AP) " Alejandro Valverde took the overall lead in the Tour of Catalonia on Tuesday after fellow Movistar rider Jose Joaquin Rojas was penalized for helping teammates during the team time trial.Movistar set the best... More...
Contador still in GC hunt but 'a long way off' top rivals after Catalunya TTT
March 21, 2017 (21:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Alberto Contador has his work cut out for him at the Volta a Catalunya this week after Tuesday's unusually long stage 2 team time trial. Trek-Segafredo finished fourth on the day, 1:15 down on the stage-winning Movistar squad. It was a solid ride, but that's a hefty deficit to make up on the likes of Alejandro Valverde in a one-week race. "I am happy, we have given everything, we have been quite well-organised and we did a good TTT, but we are a long way off our most important rivals," Contador said. "Valverde is 1:15 ahead, which is a lot. Now we have to look at the upcoming stages, starting with La Molina, which is not very hard as an ascent and where there may well be no big differences. Perhaps the time bonuses will be the most important time gaps."ADVERTISEMENT Valverde isn't the only rider standing in Contador's way, as stage 2 runner-up BMC Racing and third-placed Team Sky both have contenders for the overall victory. "The race has got more complicated because van Garderen and Sky with Froome and Thomas are all ahead," Contador said. "So we'll have to see what we can do." Nevertheless, Contador is not throwing in the towel just yet, and he sees openings in the days to come, particularly given the way recent editions of the race have played out. The Spaniard was second to Movistar's Nairo Quintana last year by just seven seconds. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Vuelta a Espana: Valverde out of GC battle after losing ten minutes
September 04, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Alejandro Valverde's chances of becoming the first rider in over half a century and third in history to take top ten GC finishes in all three Grand Tours took a near-definitive blow on Saturday when the Movistar rider lost over ten minutes on Saturday's queen stage 14 of the Vuelta a Espana. Valverde slid off back of the group of favourites ten kilometres from the top of the Aubisque and proceeded to shed time steadily all the way to the summit. Previously third overall, Valverde has therefore disappeared from the provisional podium with a bang, slumping to 19th on GC. "It was not a good day, I couldn't hold on when the group went strongly," Valverde said afterwards.ADVERTISEMENT Although Quintana started the Spanish Grand Tour as Movistar's leader, after his third in the Giro d'Italia and sixth in the Tour de France, his teammate Valverde had been looking for a top result in the Vuelta. But as he said afterwards, there has come a point where even the seemingly evergreen Valverde can no longer keep on keeping on. "Really I've run out of strength, it wasn't just a bad day," said Valverde, who won the Vuelta outright in 2009."From now on I'll have to continue working for Nairo as a leader, and that's going to be it from hereon in the Vuelta." Despite Valverde's tenacious defence of his overall position, and two very strong rides on the Alto de la Camperona and Lagos de Covadonga there came a point when it proved impossble for the Spaniard to hold on to the GC position. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Movistar unconcerned with losing Vuelta a Espana lead
August 28, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Recent Vuelta a Espaa history replayed itself on stage 9 of the race as Movistar once again lost the overall lead, for the second time in less a week - and once again minimized the importance of ceding the top spot overall. In what was effectively a re-run of the stage 4 scenario to San Andres de Texeiro that saw breakaway Darwin Atapuma (BMC) take over the lead from Ruben Fernandez (Movistar), five days later David De La Cruz (Etixx-Quick Step) gained enough time in a break to a summit finish to oust Movistar's Nairo Quintana from the top spot overall. Strengthening the comparison, just like in San Andres de Texeiro, the favourites powered up the final ascent of Naranco at speed, but grouped without any significant attempts to blast out of the pack. Just like on the Galician climb, there was even, once again, a solid attempt by Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky) to break out of the pack, presumably once again to put pressure on Movistar.ADVERTISEMENT But the end result was exactly the same: Movistar losing the lead with the clear expectation that it would return to the Spanish team's clutches in the not-too-distant future and all the top favourites crossing the line together. The only difference, perhaps, was rather than a Colombian taking the jersey away from a Spaniard as happened with Fernandez and Atapuma, this time the roles were reversed and a Spaniard removed the lead from a Colombian. "Losing the jersey is not a problem at all," Alejandro Valverde, third overall, said afterwards. "You could even say we wanted it given how the race played out." Indeed, Movistar tapped out a solid rhythm behind that kept the gap at five minutes rather than the eight new leader David De La Cruz said he had hoped for, but there was never a ferocious acceleration by the men in dark blue of the type that could have seen the gap come down quicker. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Movistar's Tour de France squad coming together
June 03, 2016 (06:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
The Movistar team is deciding on the eight riders who will support Nairo Quintana in his bid to win the Tour de France. Biciciclismo reports that they have settled on a ten-man long team. The final list will emerge after the Critrium du Dauphin and Tour de Suisse. Third overall in the Giro d'Italia, Alejandro Valverde has pledged to fully support Quintana in July. "We will go to the Tour in order to support Nairo Quintana. I want to make it clear, from this very moment, that I will be losing time on the first week and take things easier so I can help Nairo out and give my best in the mountains," Valverde said. "Also, if it's possible and it doesn't compromise the team's goals, I'd like to chase some stage wins or make it into the break and help the team from there. Our motto for the Tour remains the #SueoAmarillo (yellow dream), winning the Tour with Nairo at last."ADVERTISEMENT In addition to Quintana and Valverde, Winner Anacona, who supported Quintana in his 2014 Giro d'Italia victory, is likely to be on the start line. So too is Andrey Amador, who enjoyed one day in the maglia rosa in the Giro d'Italia and finished eighth overall. Other candidates include Jonathan Castroviejo, Imanol Erviti, Jess Herrada, Gorka Izagirre, Daniel Moreno and Francesco Ventoso. Not in the list is Briton Alex Dowsett and Adriano Malori, who supported the team in last year's Tour de France, nor Carlos Betancur. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Kruijswijk reinforces Giro overall lead, Valverde wins stage
May 24, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
ANDALO, Italy (AP) " Dutch rider Steven Kruijswijk strengthened his grip on the pink jersey by finishing second to Alejandro Valverde on the 16th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Tuesday.Pre-race favorite Vincenzo Nibali had another... More...
Giro d'Italia: Kruijswijk wastes no time in defence of the pink jersey
May 24, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Stage winner Alejandro Valverde suggested that Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) was going to win the Giro d'Italia thanks to his strength and know how, and the Dutchman seems to have learnt quickly from other Grand Tour winners by keeping his time at the post-race press conference to a minimum after the finish in Andalo. As race leader, Kruijswijk has to do live 'flash' television interviews, climb on the podium to collect the maglia rosa, do further interviews for Eurosport and Italian television, speak to radio and non-rights holder television and often go to anti-doping, all before heading to the press centre to attend a final press conference reserved for the written press. The whole process can take up an hour, which cuts into the limited recovery time after each stage. Despite the intense 132km of racing to Andalo, where Kruijswijk was isolated and came under attack, he always looked in control and was able to surge to the finish with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and perhaps even gift him the stage victory. It was a show of strength and patronage. As Nibali cracked and lost more time and with Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) on the back foot all day, Kruijswijk seemed to take total control of the Giro d'Italia.ADVERTISEMENT He even looked fresh and well recovered when he finally sat down in the press conference, responding questions with the same ease that he had responded to the many attacks from his rivals during the stage. His confidence also seems to be growing as his overall lead extends to three minutes. "I'm in first so maybe he (Valverde) is right, but you can never underestimate you rivals," he said. "Maybe it looked I was in control but there was a lot of attack on the first climb. I saw it coming because Movistar set the pace early on. But I knew the guys I had to watch and so reacted quickly on the attacks and knew that if I followed them and if we attacked together, there wouldn't be many riders up there. It was a good situation to be in. I felt good today." Giro d'Italia: Valverde takes comfort from stage win and podium spot Giro d'Italia stage 16 highlights - video Giro d'Italia stage 16 - Finish line quotes Giro d'Italia: Valverde wins intense stage to Andalo Video Highlights You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Giro d'Italia: Valverde takes comfort from stage win and podium spot
May 24, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) celebrated his first ever stage victory at the Giro d'Italia with gusto in Andalo, insisting his debut in the Corsa Rosa has been a success despite now only fighting for a place on the podium rather than overall victory. Valverde hugged his soigneur and lifted his bike in the air after beating Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) in an intense sprint to the line after an equally intense and aggressively raced stage 16 that saw Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) and especially Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) lose time in the battle for places on the podium. Valverde gained 42 seconds on the Colombian and 1:47 on the struggling Sicilian to jump above him into third overall. Valverde is 3:23 down on Kruijswijk but only 23 seconds down on Chaves.ADVERTISEMENT "I had two big goals before the race: to win a stage and secure a place on the podium. Now we got one and we're there for the other one," Valverde argued. "There are still two big stages to come and I'm happy how my Giro is going. The team is strong and now were even first in team competition, too. I'm enjoying the Giro and I now regret not coming before. Now I'm happy to be here." Valverde had promised to be aggressive on the short but mountainous stage from Bressanone to Andalo and his Movistar team pushed the pace before the Passo della Mendola at the halfway point. Valverde made several attacks and ensured he was in the select front group that later distanced Nibali and ensured that Chaves never caught them. Video Highlights You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Valverde wins Fleche Wallonne for record 4th time
April 20, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
HUY, Belgium (AP) " Alejandro Valverde of Spain became the first rider to win the Fleche Wallonne four times after racing to a third straight title Wednesday.Spanish rider Joaquin Rodriguez was the first to attack during the brutal... More...
Valverde moves into class of his own with fourth La Flche Wallonne victory
April 20, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Ultimately, a devastatingly powerful single uphill acceleration less than 100 metres from the finish line and just a few seconds long on Wednesday proved enough to secure Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) his record-breaking fourth victory in the Flche Wallonne. But, longer-term, Valverdes record itself has been 10 years in the making and places the Movistar rider ahead of figures as important as Eddy Merckx in cyclings history books. Along with the Spaniard, Moreno Argentin, Merckx, Marcel Kint and Davide Rebellin all had previously taken hat-tricks of Flche Wallonne victories. Kint, too, also captured three straight wins in the race in 1943, 1944 and 1945, just like Valverde in 2014, 2015 and now 2016. But with a fourth victory in 2006 also in his palmares, Valverde now stands alone as the record-holder in the 81-year-old history of the Fleche Wallonne. At the finish lines, there were congratulatory hugs for Valverde both from Samuel Snchez (BMC Racing), sixth on the day, and retired rider Erik Zabel before the Spaniard climbed onto the winners podium to celebrate both his personal record and Spains fifth consecutive win in the mid-week Classic.ADVERTISEMENT The truth is that its incredible, to be in the history books of Fleche Wallonne is a real honour. I knew that I felt good beforehand, but in a race circumstances can change very fast, so Im very pleased, Valverde said later. But both on an individual and a team level, Valverde and Movistar might have had the pressure of being the favourites, but they were more than up to the task of handling it. After Movistar did the lions share of the work to chase down the day-long break of 10, Valverdes team-mate Rory Sutherland notably powered up the pace on the third last climb to try to keep the race under control, then Giovanni Visconti and then Ion Izaguirre covered the late attacks before Movistar made one last collective drive for the foot of the Mur. Valverde was in perfect position right from the start of the climb, riding at the front of the fast-disintegrating bunch, next to Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) in the centre of the route. His biggest fear he said afterwards, that he might be closed in. Valverde then raised the pressure slightly by moving a little ahead onto the right side of the road at the steepest S bend section, something he said later was crucial to his final success. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Can Valverde make history in La Fleche Wallonne?
April 18, 2016 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Alejandro Valverde is one of just five riders who have won La Flche Wallonne three times, but has the chance to make history on Wednesday and top even the great Eddy Merckx and Moreno Argentin to become the first to have four titles in the mid-week Classic. The 35-year-old is being chased by a host of challengers, including recent Amstel Gold Race winner Enrico Gasparotto (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), and Jelle Vanendert (Lotto Soudal), but there's an entire generation coming behind who have shown the potential to win. Last year's runner-up Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quickstep) has shown strong form after suffering mononucleosis over the winter, and has two solid contenders at his side should he falter - Dan Martin and Brabantse Pijl winner Petr Vakoc.ADVERTISEMENT Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) put in a gutsy attack in the Amstel Gold Race and will line up with fellow contenders Vanendert and Tony Gallopin. Orica-GreenEdge's Michael Matthews is still looking for his first Classic win after a pair of stage victories in Paris-Nice, and has Adam Yates and Michael Albasini to back him up. Other riders who have shown strong form coming into the final Spring Classics in the Ardennes are Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin), Wilco Kelderman (LottoNl-Jumbo) and Jan Bakelants (AG2R La Mondiale). After his commanding victory in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon this weekend, it looks like the race could be Valverde's to lose, but when asked if he would go for the win in Belgium, Valverde said, "Well, we will see. The field of contenders is completely different to what I had to face this weekend. Those are races Ive really enjoyed for years, but my main goal at the moment is staying safe and keeping my form going up before the biggest goal of the early season for me, which is the Giro. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...

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