Alejandro Valverde victorious at queen stage of Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana
Feb 03 2018 11:51 pm CET

Alejandro Valverde victorious at queen stage of Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana
Alejandro Valverde victorious at queen stage of Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana
Photo of Alejandro Valverde © Mary Cárdenas /

Alejandro Valverde of Movistar has won the fourth stage of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and has as such extended his lead in the overall classification.

Starting in Orihuela, south of Alicante city, the race went in-land to finish 181 kilometers later on a climb near the town of Cocentaina. The weather was much more forgiving than on Friday, when the Team Time Trial had to be neutralized due to the dangerous conditions.

It took some time for the first real breakaway to be formed, but Vasil Kiryienka, Reto Hollestein, Cristian Rodriguez, Juan Camacho, Jon Ander Insausti and Hector Saez managed to get a gap after about two hours of action.

Former world champion Michal Kwiatkowski then bridged to the front group, joining his Sky teammate Kiryienka to create a stronger position ahead of the final.

But their efforts came to nothing and the last remaining members of the group were eventually caught in the final phase, along with some others that had been able to bridge the gap.

LottoNL-Jumbo's Primoz Roglic set a high pace in what was left of the peloton, with only six riders managing to follow the Slovenian's pace. Some riders could fight their way back to the front but had to let go again when Adam Yates of Mitchelton-Scott attacked in the last kilometer.

Valverde had enough left in his legs however and countered the Briton to surpass him in the last meters, allowing the Spaniard to take the victory and extend his overall lead.

In the podium ceremony, the veteran from Murcia said that he felt even better than last year, which led to a big cheer from the crowd present at the finish.

Valverde's lead over Astana's Luis Leon Sanchez, who finished the stage in third place, grows to 14 seconds with only the flat stage to Valencia left to go. Jakob Fuglsang, also of Astana, remains in third place at 26 seconds.



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