Valverde wins second consecutive Dauphiné, Clement takes final stage
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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Valverde wins second consecutive Dauphiné, Clement takes final stage

by VeloNation Press at 1:28 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Critérium du Dauphiné
 

Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) has won his second consecutive Dauphiné Libere today, after the eighth and final stage was won out of a breakaway by Rabobank's Stef Clement getting the best of Tim Duggan (Garmin-Slipstream) at the line. Australian Cadel Evans finished second in the race's general classification for the third year in a row, with Astana's 2007 Tour de France champion Alberto Contador rounding out the podium in third.

Valverde's win comes under a cloud of doubt as the Spaniard faces two-year ban from the sport if the UCI acts upon evidence from the Italian sporting authorities about his alleged involvement in the Operation Puerto doping affair.

Italy's Olympic Committee (CONI) has already banned him from racing on Italian soil based on DNA evidence. Since this year's Tour de France passes through Italy's Val D'Aosta region on July 21, it is likely that Valverde will not be allowed to participate in the race.

"I don't show what I feel outwardly. But yes, everything that's happened makes me angry," said Valverde to AFP.

"It's unjust, but I'm convinced that sooner or later things will be resolved in my favour. What really helps is the backing of my family, my team, my support.

"Physically, I feel good. Mentally, I sometimes have difficult moments, but then I get over the discouragements.

"My victory last month in the Tour of Catalonia gave me an even bigger motivation to win the Dauphiné."

Clement and the American Duggan were the last of a 28-man break that went away earlier in the stage. The pair were joined in the final kilometers by Frenchman Sebastien Joly, who bridged to the duo alone, also part of the original break. Joly tried attacking for the win with just over a kilometer to go, but Duggan and Clement worked together to bring him back just before the line. In the end, it was the 26-year-old Clement who had the power to take the stage win from the Garmin rider.

"I knew that I was going to win," said Clement.

"Even when Joly attacked, I kept confident. He'd made a huge effort to come back and I was certain to beat him. I've waited for so long to win a race in a sprint!"

The fastest rider in the chasing group was the race leader Valverde, but the Spaniard seemed content with just the overall since no orders were given to try to pull the move back.

Stage
1. Stef Clement (NED/RAB) 3hr 30min 17sec
2. Tim Duggan (USA/GRM) same time
3. Sebastien Joly (FRA/FDJ) at 02sec
4. Adam Hansen (AUS/THR) at 1min 31sec
5. Aliaksandr Kuschynski (BLR/LIQ) 1:31
6. Igor Anton (ESP/EUS) 1:33
7. David Moncoutie (FRA/COF) 1:56
8. Daniele Righi (ITA/LAM) 1:56
9. Hubert Dupont (FRA/ALM) 1:58
10. Maarten Wijnants (BEL/QST) 2:05

Final overall standings:
1. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/GCE) 26hr 33min 15sec
2. Cadel Evans (AUS/SIL) at 16sec
3. Alberto Contador (ESP/AST) at 1min 18sec
4. Robert Gesink (NED/RAB) 2:41
5. Mikel Astarloza (ESP/EUS) 3:40
6. Jakob Diemer Fuglsang (DEN/SAX) 4:08
7. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/LIQ) 4:21
8. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/AST) 5:05
9. David Millar (GBR/GRM) 5:28
10. Christophe Le Mevel (FRA/FDJ) 6:19
 

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