Alejandro Valverde crashes out of contention in Volta a Catalunya
  April 20, 2019 Login  

Current Articles    |   Archives    |   RSS Feeds    |   Search

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Alejandro Valverde crashes out of contention in Volta a Catalunya

by Ben Atkins at 4:43 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Volta a Catalunya
Movistar rider tastes Paris-Nice medicine as Omega Pharma-Quick Step pace stops him rejoining the peloton

alejandro valverdeAfter the events of the penultimate stage of Paris-Nice, earlier in the month, when the Movistar team accelerated as Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s Levi Leipheimer was picking himself up off the tarmac, it was no surprise that the Belgian team returned the compliment after Alejandro Valverde hit the deck in today’s Volta a Catalunya stage. The Murcian rider, who won the 2009 edition of the race, crashed on the way out of the feedzone with 51km to go, and was unable to rejoin the main peloton.

Despite a hard chase - with the help of his teammates - Valverde was unable to rejoin the peloton, and finished the stage 2’09” down on stage winner Michael Albasini (GreenEDGE).

“Just as we were heading out of the feedzone, there was a bottle on the road, the front wheel got over it and I crashed on my right side against a kerb,” he explained after the stage. “It was practically an inevitable crash. I got on my feet again but I was feeling mostly dizzy after the crash, and I took some time to get going again.

“I was a bit unconscious, it was hard to get back up to racing pace and that's why it was difficult to bridge,” he continued. “I want to thank all my team-mates; it's a pity, because we could have done really well here.”

Valverde now trails race leader Albasini - who has won both stages so far - by 4’01” and, more significantly, the overall contenders like Leipheimer by 2’29”. If he can recovered sufficiently from his crash injuries, he may be able to take victory in one of the five remaining stages, but overall victory is now all-but beyond him.

“These things happen; sometimes everything's good, sometimes everything goes wrong,” he conceded. “The route was really good for me, but this is a rider's life. Leaving the bad side apart, we have to be happy. I have much pain, especially in the right side, in my shoulder. Let's see how we rest and wake up to value tomorrow what we can do.”

Movistar directeur sportif José Luis Arrieta had a good view of the incident, and its consequences, from the Movistar team car.

“We were stopped at the side of the road with Nairo [Quintana], who had had a flat tire,” he explained, “and at the feeding zone the route was casually narrowing to a single-way road, which made things more complicated together with the fact that the feedzones are always chaotic.

“Just after the zone, Alejandro went down after slipping on a bottle,” he continued. “When we realised he had crashed and the race jury also got notice of it and told us, we lost contact with the main group.”

The peloton was now accelerating, with Omega Pharma-Quick Step at its head, and the Movistar riders were having problems getting back to in the race.

“With so many riders pushing ahead, it was so difficult to bridge the gaps,” said Arrieta. “There was a lot of interest in stopping the group from catching up by any means and, against a peloton of almost hundred eighty riders, it was impossible to get the gap down. Despite all of that, the team was really good and I personally congratulated them after the stage, because they had to work alone, with no help from others. Even though the stages coming ahead are hard, this gap is difficult to close, but the guys behind have a chance to fight for a stage in the upcoming days.”

The only rider not called back to work for Valverde was Sergio Pardilla, who ended the stage in sixth place. He now sits in 13th place overall, on the same time as Leipheimer and the rest of the contenders, 1’32” behind Albasini.

“Sergio defended the team, did a fine stage and has a mountainous route tomorrow that suits him well,” said Arrieta. “Should stages go just like you want everyday, we would be winning everyday and the rest would take none. We went down today, but there's another stage tomorrow and we might as well be up by then.”


Subscribe via RSS or daily email

  Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy  Copyright 2008-2013 by VeloNation LLC