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by Matt de Neef
March 27, 2017
In today’s edition of the CT Daily News Digest: Greg Van Avermaet wins men’s Gent-Wevelgem; Lotta Lepisto takes out women’s Gent-Wevelgem; Alejandro Valverde victorious in the Volta a Catalunya; Lilian Calmejane wins Coppi e Bartali; Edwin Avila takes opening-day honours in the Tour de Taiwan; Kristof Allegaert leads Indian Pacific Wheel Race towards Melbourne; Cadel Evans and George Hincapie win masters category at Cape Epic MTB race; Heinrich Haussler to miss the Spring Classics with ongoing knee injury; Bradley Wiggins on Sky’s ‘load of rubbish’ marginal gains philosophy; At 50, Mario Cipollini looks back on his career; Riders injured as car ‘drives into cycle race’ in Berlin; Trigger Happy’s angry cyclist on Comic Relief.
Eight years after winning his first overall title at the Volta a Catalunya, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has repeated the feat, taking out the 2017 edition over the weekend.
Valverde won a total of three stages throughout the seven-stage race: stage 3; the queen stage, stage 5; and yesterday’s final stage in a reduced bunch sprint. Valverde also reached the podium on two other stages.
The Spanish veteran had been leading by nearly a minute coming into the final stage and was able to extend that advantage by winning the sprint from a 16-rider group. Three kilometres from the finish he’d launched a late attack with Dan Martin (QuickStep Floors) but that was ultimately neutralised.
“To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to get these results,” Valverde said. “I knew I was in good condition leading up to this race, and those final training rides with Rojas and my teammates in Andorra the week prior did good on me. But you had to keep in mind that I had spent a whole month without racing, since the Vuelta a Andalucia, while some other rivals like Alberto [Contador] had a better racing pace.
“My plan was to go day-by-day, without setting my sights on the bigger goals, but my legs got better and better through the race, even more so today. The Volta is a race that I really like, and every time I take the start here is with an aim to do things well.”