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by Matt de Neef
April 10, 2017
In today’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Greg Van Avermaet wins his first Monument at Paris-Roubaix; Alejandro Valverde victorious at the Tour of the Basque Country; Ellen van Dijk wins the Healthy Ageing Tour, Moberg takes final stage; Eddie Dunbar solos to victory in U23 Tour of Flanders; Tom Boonen closes his illustrious career with 13th at final Paris-Roubaix; Mat Hayman reflects on his 2017 Roubaix; Cyclist fighting for life after hit-run on Mornington Peninsula; Snow falls on Baw Baw Classic; Andre Boonen on his son Tom’s greatest moments; Inside the peloton at Paris-Roubaix.
For the first time in his long and storied career, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has won the Tour of the Basque Country, beating out fellow Spaniards Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo; 17 seconds) and Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida; 21 seconds) in the overall classification.
Valverde took the overall lead with victory from a small group on stage 5, but found himself on the same time as four other riders. It would be the final-stage individual time trial that would determine the race.
The 27.7km stage was taken out by Slovenian Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo), the 27-year-old taking his second stage victory of the race. Valverde was second on the stage, nine seconds behind Roglic, followed by Izagirre and Contador (the latter having now finished second overall in four stage races this year).
“I really wanted to win this Itzulia,” Valverde said. “I have been on the verge of success so many years, always came close without a win – fortunately, it seems like I’m on a good streak this season, and claiming overall honours at last makes for a very special success.
“I’m even more surprised than anyone about how things are going for me this season. Every single year, at this point of the season, I yell it’s my best start ever. But this time, you can’t have any doubts: it’s the best one.”