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by Shane Stokes
January 31, 2018
Breakthrough win for Brodie Chapman on Stage 1 of Women’s Herald Sun Tour; Froome denies Italian media reports suggesting ‘plea bargain’ agreement; Haussler sidelined again due to collarbone fracture; Days after partial all-clear, De Plus now diagnosed with pelvic fracture; Powers confirms Aspire Racing team is stopping and that he is considering retirement; Valverde on Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana: ‘We’ll really go for it’; Kittel on ‘best Tour performance yet’ and green jersey chances; Brajkovic signs for Adria Mobil Cycling, returning to his former team; Devastating figures show that Australian kids’ fitness is at an all-time low; Video: Close encounters of the kangaroo kind; Video: Skuji?s shows off Trek-Segafredo’s training and race kits
Valverde in hospital after his crash on day one of the 2017 Tour de France.
Confidence buoyed by his third and fourth in the races of the Challenge Mallorca event, Alejandro Valverde has said that he and the Movistar team will give this week’s Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana their very best shot.
“It’s a longer competition, five days, with a team time trial midway through,” he said. “We’ll really go for it because we feel we’ve got the form it takes to chase good results, but winning the overall will not be an obsession for us.
“The race contenders should not really be stronger than what Wellens or Moscon showed in Mallorca, but there will be plenty of them, and that changes a lot. While it was down to three or four of us in the hardest parts of the Mallorca races, the group will shrink to maybe 10, 15 riders when it’s time in Valencia.”
Challenge Mallorca was Valverde’s first race after his fractured his kneecap and his talus bone on the opening day of the Tour de France. “It went great,” he said, clearly satisfied.
He gave some predications about the Valencia event. “I think the team time trial will really leave its mark on the final outcome. We’ve checked the course several times and I think it’s a dangerous route, especially the second half with lots of turns together. It’ hard for everyone, though. We’ve got a strong, balanced block, but maybe some teams like Sky or BMC have an edge at this moment on squads like ours, since they’ve got pure specialists and they’re also aiming to put their GC riders into good position for Saturday’s finish. The Alto de las Canteras? It’s tough, I like it, but I don’t think it will set really big gaps. I hope to be up there with the top guns at the finish.”