Outnumbered in Clasica San Sebastian, Valverde philosophical about second place
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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Outnumbered in Clasica San Sebastian, Valverde philosophical about second place

by VeloNation Press at 2:45 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Clásica de San Sebastián
Movistar rider said he gave it his best shot to repeat 2008 success

Alejandro ValverdeOutmanoeuvred by RadioShack’s Tony Gallopin and unable to get back in contact due to an at-times wavering chase in the group behind, Alejandro Vlaverde has said that he is satisfied with second place in the Clasica San Sebastian today.

The Movistar rider, who was one of the top race favourites after his strong showing in the Tour de France, outsprinted Roman Kreuziger (Team Saxo Tinkoff), Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel Euskadi) and Kreuziger’s team-mate Nicolas Roche at the end of the WorldTour race.

“We have to be happy with this result, because we did the best we could to win,” he said.

One issue for Valverde was that with his known finishing speed, riders were reluctant to give him any sort of easy ride to the finish. The chase of Gallopin might arguably have been am more committed one had he not had such a reputation for being fast in the sprint; indeed, there was several attacks by his breakaway companions towards the end, disrupting the cohesion and cooperation of that group.

“We knew we were the favourites - though it's even more difficult to show it when everyone is looking at you - and took charge of the pace into the bunch from the beginning,” he said. “My team-mates were phenomenal today. The strategy was making the race hard with Nairo [Quintana] riding into the second Jaizkibel climb to split the group and make it easy to control, and we succeeded.

“Kreuziger attacked on the final slopes, and even though I waited a bit to see how he went, I had to move with one kilometres remaining because he was too dangerous. I caught him into the downhill, but after that, it was impossible to go after every single wheel, and Gallopin was gone.”

The RadioShack Leopard rider put his head down and gunned it from there, committing superbly to the task and building a lasting lead.

Valverde said that he was hoping the gap would close, particularly when he saw him ahead on the final drag before the final kilometre, but then realised that there was too much to do.

He pointed out that being outnumbered meant that he had to change his tactics in order to account for possible attacks.

“I was there with two Euskaltels and two Saxos and couldn't simply push more than them and burn myself out,” he explained.

The Movistar captain will target the Vuelta a España and so wants to take a couple of days of rest to ensure he has recovered from the Tour de France prior to knuckling down again for the Spanish race.


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