Alejandro Valverde victorious at Queen Stage of Route d'Occitanie
Jun 16 2018 04:38 pm CET

Alejandro Valverde victorious at Queen Stage of Route d'Occitanie
Alejandro Valverde victorious at Queen Stage of Route d'Occitanie
Photo of Alejandro Valverde

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has taken the victory at the penultimate stage of the Route d'Occitanie. The Spaniard crossed the mountain finish line ahead of Daniel Navarro and Kenny Elissonde.

The Queen Stage of the French race was 198.4 kilometres long between Prat-Bonrepaux and Les Monts d'Olmes and featured two climbs of the second category and three ascents of the first category, including the mountain finish. Beñat Txoperena (Euskadi-Murias) and Damien Gaudin (Direct Energie) formed the breakaway of the day.

The duo got a lead of more than five minutes over the peloton but at the second first category climb of the day to the Col du Chioula Gaudin couldn't resist the pace of his companion. But the adventure was not over for the Frenchman who caught the Spaniard on the descent and left him behind to be reeled back in by the peloton.

The Frenchman was at the end caught just past the 20-kilometre mark and right away Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) and Brice Feillu (Fortuneo-Samsic) tried their luck but the peloton rejoined them a couple of kilometres later. At the final ascent of the day, Movistar set a high pace and completely broke the pack.

Kenny Elissonde (Sky), Daniel Navarro (Cofidis), Ruben Fernandez and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) created a group in front and Fernandez was the first rider to drop because of the speed of the rest. Each of the three riders launched an attack but was followed by the others while the chasers got closer.

The trio arrived in the final meters on their own and Valverde showed to have the better legs after the ascent and took the victory in a misty final. Navarro was second and Elissonde was third.

Sanchez and Sebastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ) completed the top five of the day. Valverde took the lead of the overall classification.






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