Valverde runs wide, rues missed chance on Tour de France stage three
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Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Valverde runs wide, rues missed chance on Tour de France stage three

by VeloNation Press at 6:32 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Injury
 
Spaniard had wanted opportunity to go head to head with Sagan

Alejandro ValverdeAn explosive rider on uphill finishes, Alejandro Valverde was on paper one of the few who might have been able to challenge Peter Sagan on today’s third stage of the Tour de France. However a misjudged corner with two kilometres remaining meant that the Spaniard ran too wide and practically came to a halt. The pace was very high at that point and he had no chance to return to the head of affairs.

He crossed the line 23rd, one second behind the winner Peter Sagan (Liquigas Cannondale) and in the same time as the other race contenders.

“This is the Tour: there's much nerves, much danger. At the moment, our goal is intact: we're riding up front, I went through a difficult day due to crashes and did not lost time,” he said. “We were told before the start about a difficult turn to the right, but when we got there, the radio wasn't working properly and I didn't hear what they were telling us. I went from fourth to last into the group [because of the loss of speed – ed.] and, even after that, I was involved in the crash that happened in the final ramp.”

While Sagan has now dominated two stages, Valverde believes that he could potentially have challenged him today. “If I was there with two kilometres to go, it was because I had good legs. I was in the perfect position and had strength on the previous climbs, with no troubles to advance into the group,” he said.

“I'd love to contest a finish like that against Sagan, but we're not having that chance. We have to congratulate him because he's showing to be the best on such finishes.”

Valverde is 26th overall, 35 seconds behind race leader Fabian Cancellara. His aim is to limit his losses in the time trials and then use the remainder of the Tour to chase a high overall finish.

He said prior to the start that he was aiming to finish on the podium in Paris.

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