Valverde snatches overall title from Rogers in final Romandie stage
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Sunday, May 02, 2010

Valverde snatches overall title from Rogers in final Romandie stage

by Bjorn Haake at 9:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Tour of Romandie
 

An aggressive Alejandro Valverde won the final stage of the Tour de Romandie to make up his one-second deficit in the overall against Michael Rogers. Valverde beat Igor Antón, Simon Spilak and Denis Menchov in a four-up sprint to take the final GC. Rogers came in 22 crucial seconds later and dropped off the overall podium. Yesterday's stage winner Spilak finished second in the overall, 11 seconds behind Valverde.

The winner admitted it was not an easy task. "It was a tough day with the weather conditions," Valverde said after the finish. The Spaniard is not particularly known for riding well in these kinds of conditions. "But this year I have adapted better to the rain and cold."

Valverde decided to not leave it all on the sprints' bonus seconds. "The bonifications were quite important, but I didn't want to risk everything on the sprints, that is why I attacked on the final climb."

When Antón was headed towards the finish by himself, Valverde attacked together with Denis Menchov and Simon Spilak. That put leader Rogers and fourth-placed Vladimir Karpets in trouble. Antón made the final move with 500 meters to go, but Valverde had the right answer.

The day started out with the attack by Jean-Christophe Péraud, Sergio Paulinho, Vladimir Efimkin and Oliver Zaugg. The quartet had a maximum gap of 3'20, but was caught after 91km. This marked the end of the race with the attacks from the favorites dismantling the group.

Tiago Machado was the first to go, quickly joined by John Gadret and Antón. Antón then went away by himself and still climbed the Ovronnaz (km 101) 21 seconds ahead of Valverde, Spilak and Menchov. Rogers, Machado, Janez Brajkovic, Gadret and Marcel Wyss were 48 seconds behind.

With 13km left to go, Valverde and Spilak reached Antón. Menchov made it back to the group three km later, but Valverde brought it all home for his Caisse d'Epargne team.

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