Valverde to miss GP Miguel Indurain, unsure about Pais Vasco
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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Valverde to miss GP Miguel Indurain, unsure about Pais Vasco

by Shane Stokes at 9:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Recovery from injury and Classics preparation highest priorities

Alejandro ValverdeStill recovering from injuries sustained in his crash during the Volta a Catalunya, Alejandro Valverde will miss Saturday’s GP Miguel Indurain.

His Movistar team has confirmed that the Spaniard will sit out the 1.1-ranked event, with last year’s Vuelta a Espana winner Juan Jose Cobo one of those who will take his pace at the helm of the squad.

Valverde has been in very strong form this season, winning a stage of the Santos Tour Down Under and finishing second overall there, netting a stage plus the overall in the Vuelta a Andalucia and also nabbing a stage en route to third overall in Paris-Nice.

However his ambition of winning the Volta a Catalunya was dashed when he hit the deck on stage two. He made it to the finish line, but opted not to start the next day.

He had been sitting third overall in the UCI WorldTour rankings heading into the race and while he remains third despite missing out on the points there, he lost a good chance to retake the lead from Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge).

It is as yet uncertain when Valverde will return to competition. He was provisionally due to compete in next week’s Vuelta al Pais Vasco but his Movistar team confirmed today to VeloNation that it was not yet decided if he would take part.

Valverde had expressed similar uncertainty earlier this week. “I do not know yet if I will go,” he told Efe. “For the moment I am listed [to take part] but we will see if I will do the Classics and then Romandie [the Tour de Romandie in Switzerland – ed.] or Pais Vasco and the Classics; we will see." The Ardennes Classics are major focusses for him this year.

Cobo will be one who the fans look to to instead shine on Saturday, but it remains to be seen how his form is. He has hardly raced this year. He was 58th in the Vuelta a Murcia at the beginning of this month, but has otherwise been quiet.

He will join nine other Movistar riders in Saturday’s race, with Ángel Madrazo, Vasil Kiryienka, Rui Costa, David López, Rubén Plaza, Jonathan Castroviejo, José Herrada, Vladimir Karpets and Enrique Sanz also confirmed.

The team has a strong motivation to ride well as it is gunning for what would be its ninth victory in the race. While it has been only racing under the Movistar title since last year, it triumphed eight times between 1985 and 2005 under the previous title sponsor name of Reynolds, Banesto and Comunidad Valenciana-Elche. Pedro Delgado and Miguel Indurain were two of the riders who won in its colours.

The 1.HC race will cover a tough 179.3 kilometre route, and includes the climbs of the Basílica de Santa María de Puy, Eraul, Guirguillano and Lezaun.

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