Valverde races to prologue victory in Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Del Sol
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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Valverde races to prologue victory in Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Del Sol

by VeloNation Press at 11:28 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Defending champion back on top, Farrar grabs third behind Spilak

Alejandro ValverdeBlasting around the six kilometre San Fernando course in a time under seven minutes, Alejandro Valverde got the defence of his Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol title off to an ideal start with victory today. The Movistar rider beat Simon Spilak (Katusha) by two seconds and the American rider Tyler Farrar (Garmin – Sharp) by four, with Tour de France fourth-place finisher Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto Belisol) also at that deficit.

It was, Valverde admitted, something that was a little unexpected. “To be honest, I'm the first one who is surprised about this result,” he said. “My condition was good, but I made the course twenty seconds faster than last year, and that's a huge improvement.

“I knew the course and only looked at it by car today; I didn't do a bike recce, but I found good legs right from the start. This victory is important for my confidence, especially because it's a time trial. That means the work we're doing on the TT bike is paying off already. There's still huge room to improve, but we're on the right track.”

Some of the competitors were slowed by light rain which fell midway through the race, and the mark set by early TT leader Maxim Belkov (Katusha) lasted for quite some time. However Farrar and Spilak then each took over at the top, with Valverde bumping both down the leaderboard when he blasted to the first leader’s jersey.

Three more stages lie ahead and he and his Movistar team will fight to hold on; if he succeeds, he will be only the fifth two-time winner in the race’s 58 year history.

Valverde has always been a strong climber and a fast finisher, but time trials were once his bugbear, the discipline where he lost time. Today’s showing is encouraging in that respect, and is a result of a lot of effort in recent months.

“We went through strong workloads during the winter on my TT position,” he explained. “I always train twice a week on that bike and that was important today. I feel more confident and calm this season - less kilometers of training than in previous seasons at this point, but having no pressure is doing me well.”

Today’s result is his second victory of the 2013 season, with success in the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana in Majorca coming earlier this month.

Valverde is building up for the Ardennes Classics and the Tour de France, but overall success here is something he will embrace if it happens. He believes Movistar should have several options. “We have a great squad and some of my team-mates should be up-front here too,” he said. “It will be a really tough race.”

The Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol continues tomorrow with a 163.9 kilometre stage from San Fernando to Ubrique. It runs until Wednesday.

Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol (2.1)

San Fernando prologue:

1, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) 6 kilometres in 6 mins 46 secs
2, Simon Spilak (Katusha) at 2 secs
3, Tyler Farrar (Garmin - Sharp) at 4 secs
4, Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto Belisol)
5, Patrick Gretsch (Argos - Shimano) at 6 secs
6, Stef Clement (Blanco Pro Cycling) at 9 secs
7, Bart De Clercq (Lotto Belisol) at 10 secs
8, Maxim Belkov (Katusha)
9, Martijn Keizer (Vacansoleil - DCM)
10, Bauke Mollema (Blanco Pro Cycling) at 11 secs
11, Jan Barta (Team NetApp - Endura)
12, Jerome Coppel (Cofidis, Solutions Credits)
13, Jon Izagirre (Euskaltel - Euskadi) at 12 secs
14, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)
15, Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana)
16, Daniel Moreno (Katusha) at mins 13 secs
17, José Iván Gutiérrez (Movistar Team)
18, Vladimir Gusev (Katusha)
19, Anthony Delaplace (Sojasun)
20, Jack Bobridge (Blanco Pro Cycling) at 14 secs
21, Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team)
22, Robert Hunter (Garmin - Sharp) at 15 secs
23, Tom Dumoulin (Argos - Shimano) at 16 secs
24, Simon Geschke (Argos - Shimano) at 17 secs
25, Sébastien Rosseler (Garmin - Sharp)
26, José Joaquin Rojas (Movistar Team) at 18 secs
27, Javier Moreno (Movistar Team)
28, Pim Ligthart (Vacansoleil - DCM)
29, Janez Brajkovic (Astana)
30, Grega Bole (Vacansoleil - DCM) at 19 secs
31, Nick Nuyens (Garmin - Sharp)
32, Yves Lampaert (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise)
33, Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (Argos - Shimano)
34, Francis De Greef (Lotto Belisol)
35, Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis, Solutions Credits)
36, Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel - Euskadi)
37, Luca Paolini (Katusha) at 20 secs
38, Jacek Morajko (CCC Polsat Polkowice) at 21 secs
39, Iker Camaño (Team NetApp - Endura)
40, Maurits Lammereink (Vacansoleil - DCM) at 22 secs
41, Luis Mas (Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon)
42, Adrian Kurek (CCC Polsat Polkowice)
43, Joost Van Leijen (Lotto Belisol)
44, Jaroslaw Marycz (CCC Polsat Polkowice) at 23 secs
45, Juan Manuel Garate (Blanco Pro Cycling)
46, Antonio Piedra (Caja Rural)
47, Clement Lhotellerie (Colba Superano Ham)
48, Cyril Bessy (Cofidis, Solutions Credits) at 24 secs
49, Karol Domagalski (Caja Rural)
50, Jonathan Hivert (Sojasun) at 25 secs
51, Xavier Florencio (Katusha)
52, Mirko Selvaggi (Vacansoleil - DCM)
53, Johan Van Summeren (Garmin - Sharp)
54, Rafael Valls (Vacansoleil - DCM) at 26 secs
55, Yelko Gomez (Caja Rural)
56, Enzo Moyano (Caja Rural)
57, Jarl Salomein (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise)
58, Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol)
59, Ioannis Tamouridis (Euskaltel - Euskadi) at 27 secs
60, Yannick Talabardon (Sojasun)
61, Sander Armee (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise)
62, Andreas Klier (Garmin - Sharp)
63, Davide Rebellin (CCC Polsat Polkowice)
64, Cesare Benedetti (Team NetApp - Endura)
65, Preben Van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) at 28 secs
66, Imanol Erviti (Movistar Team)
67, Daniel Schorn (Team NetApp - Endura)
68, David De La Cruz (Team NetApp - Endura)
69, Jurgen Van De Walle (Lotto Belisol) at 29 secs
70, Marek Rutkiewicz (CCC Polsat Polkowice)
71, Kevin Seeldraeyers (Astana)
72, Juan J Lobato (Euskaltel - Euskadi)
73, Michael Van Staeyen (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) at 30 secs
74, Sander Helven (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise)
75, Jimmy Engoulvent (Sojasun)
76, Daniel Navarro (Cofidis, Solutions Credits) at 31 secs
77, Thomas Degand (Accent Jobs-Wanty)
78, Jonas Ahlstrand (Argos - Shimano)
79, Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil - DCM)
80, Rubén Plaza (Movistar Team)
81, Jean-Lou Paiani (Sojasun) at 32 secs
82, Leopold Konig (Team NetApp - Endura)
83, David Tanner (Blanco Pro Cycling)
84, Bartlomiej Matysiak (CCC Polsat Polkowice)
85, Mark Renshaw (Blanco Pro Cycling) at 33 secs
86, Mikel Landa (Euskaltel - Euskadi) at 34 secs
87, Will Routley (Accent Jobs-Wanty)
88, Cyril Lemoine (Sojasun)
89, Martijn Maaskant (Garmin - Sharp) at 35 secs
90, Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel - Euskadi) at 36 secs
91, Moisés Dueñas (Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon)
92, Igor Anton (Euskaltel - Euskadi) at 37 secs
93, Tristan Valentin (Cofidis, Solutions Credits)
94, Johannes Fröhlinger (Argos - Shimano)
95, Marcos García (Caja Rural) at 38 secs
96, Francesco Gavazzi (Astana)
97, Yury Trofimov (Katusha) at 39 secs
98, Bartosz Huzarski (Team NetApp - Endura)
99, Eliot Lietaer (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise)
100, Maxime Mederel (Sojasun) at 41 secs
101, Jurgen Francois (Colba Superano Ham)
102, Francesco Lasca (Caja Rural)
103, Pablo Torres (Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon)
104, Andy Cappelle (Accent Jobs-Wanty) at 42 secs
105, Cheng Ji (Argos - Shimano)
106, Jurgen Van Goolen (Accent Jobs-Wanty)
107, Niels Van Dorsselaer (Colba Superano Ham) at 43 secs
108, Jelle Vanendert (Lotto Belisol)
109, Victor Fobert (Colba Superano Ham)
110, Robert Gesink (Blanco Pro Cycling)
111, Guillaume Levarlet (Cofidis, Solutions Credits) at 45 secs
112, Enrico Gasparotto (Astana) at 46 secs
113, Aron Kremer (Colba Superano Ham) at 50 secs
114, David Arroyo (Caja Rural) at 51 secs
115, Dario Hernandez (Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon)
116, David Belda (Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon) at 55 secs
117, Danilo Napolitano (Accent Jobs-Wanty)
118, Jesus Del Pino (Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon) at 1 min 1 secs
119, Stefan Van Dijk (Accent Jobs-Wanty) at 1 min 3 secs
120, Steven Caethoven (Accent Jobs-Wanty) at 1 min 4 secs
121, James Mowatt (Colba Superano Ham) at 1 min 5 secs
122, Simone Ponzi (Astana) at 1 min 8 secs
123, Steve Bekaert (Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon) at 1 min 9 secs
124, Sven Jodts (Colba Superano Ham) at 1 min 13 secs
125, Nicolas Edet (Cofidis, Solutions Credits)
126, Grzegorz Stepniak (CCC Polsat Polkowice) at 1 min 49 secs

General classification: as above


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