Alejandro Valverde “not disappointed at all” after Amstel Gold second place
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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Alejandro Valverde “not disappointed at all” after Amstel Gold second place

by Ben Atkins at 4:00 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Fall Classics, Liège-Bastogne-Liège , Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne
 
Movistar captain bouyed by form ahead of next weekend’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège

alejandro valverdeAlejandro Valverde (Movistar) recorded his best ever finish in the Amstel Gold Race today, as he sprinted to second place behind winner Roman Kreuziger (Saxo-Tinkoff). The Murcian rider was part of a three-rider chase group that tore itself from the front of the peloton on the fourth and final climb of the Cauberg - with World champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing) and Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) - and, despite being caught by the peloton as they arrived at the line, still managed to win the sprint.

"The finale was similar to the [2012 World championship] one, because Gilbert went away with equal strength and made the difference there,” Valverde explained afterwards. “This time I was able to follow him and beat him at the finish. It was sad Kreuziger was still at the front, but he did an impressive job and deserves this victory.”

In 2008 Valverde finished third in the Amstel Gold Race, which was his best finish in the Dutch Classic so far. Today’s result goes one better than that, which gives the Spaniard hope ahead of the races to come.

“I'm really happy with my second place,”’ he said. “I'm not disappointed at all, because we could perform well and my feelings were good. I feel like I have more stamina and reach the finale of such long races in better condition than in the past.

“This obviously gives me confidence for the two classics coming up,” he added. “More than Flèche, which I will approach in a more cautious way, I'm focused on Liège, the one that suits me the best. We could see I was strong today. Let's hope we have some luck on Sunday to chase for that big goal.”

Valverde has won Liège-Bastogne-Liège on two occasions, in 2006 and 2008, while he has won Flèche Wallonne once - in 2006 as the first part of an Ardennes double - and finished second the following year. While the all out sprint up the Mur de Huy may not suit him as well as compatriot Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) these days, the Bala Verde will undoubtedly be one to watch on Liège’s more gently uphill finish in the suburb of Ans on Sunday.

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