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by Matt de Neef
April 24, 2017
In today’s edition of the CT Daily News Digest: Valverde wins his fourth Liege-Bastogne-Liege, dedicates victory to Scarponi; Anna van der Breggen secures Ardennes triple at Liege-Bastogne-Liege; Vincenzo Nibali wins the Tour of Croatia; Astana mourns the loss of Michele Scarponi; Astana decide to start Liege-Bastogne-Liege despite Scarponi tragedy; How not to finish second; Barbed wire stretched across Cheshire trail; Chinese cyclist hit by three cars to be charged by police; Michele Scarponi tribute video.
Four days after he took a record fifth Flèche Wallonne, Alejandro Valverde clocked up his fourth Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The Movistar rider followed up his wins in 2006, 2008 and 2015 with another success on Sunday, overhauling 2013 champion Dan Martin (QuickStep Floors) after the latter made his move inside the final kilometre.
Martin was himself responding to a move by Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Drapac) with just over five kilometres left. Martin jumped close to where he made his winning move four years ago and got past the Italian, but Valverde clinically closed him down and went past just before the final corner.
He then opened up his sprint and while Martin tried to dig deep, he had to make do with second. Behind, Milan-San Remo winner Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) nabbed third, three seconds back, beating Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb), Ion Izagirre (Bahrain Merida), Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Michael Albasini (Orica-Scott).
Valverde was jubilant just after the line, but became emotional during the post-race interview. He was affected by the loss of Michele Scarponi (Astana), who was killed while training on Saturday.
“He was a very good friend of mine,” said Valverde. “I couldn’t believe it when I heard it. It a real pity. Of course I am going to dedicate all the money I have earned from this, and this week, to his family. It is awful what happened. I think all the team, when they heard it, were very saddened. Of course all of cycling was too, he was such a character.”
Follow the link to read the full race report at CyclingTips.