Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana
World champion Alejandro Valverde was back in stage race contention at the Volta a Comunitat Valenciana, his first “true” stage race of 2019, with a third place finish on GC having come close to recording his maiden victory in the rainbow jersey on the race’s Queen stage.
We won last year and we’re not leaving empty-handed this year, either: finishing in 2nd place, with such a luxury podium, is a good result. It’s been a beautiful race, a very tight one, with a great winner in Ion. He’s a good friend of mine, a team-mate for many years in the Movistar Team as well as a huge source of help in last year’s Innsbruck Worlds. All in all, I think we gave it a good fight, both in the crucial stages and the overall result – but yesterday’s climb, so explosive, wasn’t the place for me to bridge the gap overall back to Ion, so I knew it was sort of an impossible task to bounce back after the TT. Yates was a well-deserved winner, so I feel happy with the 2nd place in Alcossebre as well as in the GC.
Vuelta a la Comunitat Valenciana Féminas
Both of our partners in the women’s peloton – Movistar Team Women and Bigla – made their 2019 debuts in the one day Vuelta a la Comunitat Valenciana Féminas in Spain on Sunday. Held on a flat course around Valencia, a sprint finish always looked likely and despite several breakaway efforts, the race was indeed decided by a bunch kick with Belgian Lotte Kopecky (Lotto Soudal Ladies) taking the win. Roxane Fournier was Movistar Team Women’s top finisher in sixth spot, with Bigla’s new signing Maria Vittoria Sperotto just outside the top 10 in 11th.
Both squads now head into training camps ahead of Setmana Valenciana, the first stage race of the season in early March.