Another World Championships title for an Endura athlete means a third rainbow jersey to make in as many weeks for the #EnduraCustom team!
UCI Road World Championships
After chasing rainbows since the early 2000s, Alejandro Valverde’s amazing career gained another chapter as one of the most consistent performers in the World Championships over the past two decades finally added a gold medal to his incredible collection of two silvers and four bronzes.
Valverde’s immense tactical nous meant that he was able to pick exactly the right moment to follow the race winning move after being sheltered throughout the gruelling race by his Spanish teammates. The decisive move came after nearly 250km of racing as expected on the slopes of Höttinger Höll, the brutal final climb which features truly hellish gradients of up to 28% over its 2.3km length. With its summit coming so close to the finish (just 8km and with 5km of that descending), the climb had long been flagged as being the jumping off point for the race winning attack and so it came to pass on the day
With many contenders, including Kwiatkowski, Roglic and Simon Yates distanced, it came down to an elite selection of riders - Michael Valgren (Denmark), Julian Alaphilippe, Romain Bardet and Thibaut Pinot (France), Gianni Moscon (Italy), Michael Woods (Canada) and Alejandro to decide the biggest one-day prize in road cycling. Alaphilippe (the strong pre-race favourite) and Moscon were quickly dropped and by the summit only a trio of Bala, Bardent and Woods remained with Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands) in hot pursuit.
Launching a long sprint, Valverde notched up his 122nd professional victory and arguably the biggest win in a phenomenal career.
The #EnduraCustom team are already working on his new World Champions kit at our factory in Scotland and looking forward to Alejandro revealing our take on an iconic jersey very soon...
Enduro World Series
Scotland’s Katy Winton rounded out the 2018 Enduro World Series with a sixth place finish in Finale Ligure, which was enough to secure the Trek Factory Racing Enduro rider a podium finish in the series with third place overall behind the French pairing of Cecile Ravanel (Commencal Vallnord Enduro Racing Team) and Isabeau Courdurier (Intense Mavic Collective).
The Borderer endured a challenging second half of the eight race long season, but had enough in the tank to secure another podium finish in enduro’s premier competition. Have you checked out our in-depth Renegade Stories article on Katy yet?
In the Pro Men’s rankings, Ruaridh Cunningham finished the season in a fine 16th place overall with a season highlight of a fourth place finish in the Austrian / Slovenian round showing that he has the pace to compete at the highest level of enduro racing. Meanwhile, Pedro Burns completed his first season in the senior ranks in 34th place overall, with two top 20 finishes demonstrating his potential to be a front runner in future EWS seasons..
Photos: Bettini Photo / Movistar Team, Sean Hardy, Trevor Worsley, Eilidh McKibben