Alejandro Valverde took his third Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana overall classification today after getting safely through the wet and dangerous final day.
Jurgen Roelandts (BMC Racing) won the 135-kilometre fifth stage from Paterna to Valencia, as all the GC contenders finished together in the main bunch. The Belgian took the win ahead of Danny van Poppel (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) and
Clément Venturini (AG2R La Mondiale).
Astana duo Luis León Sánchez and Jakob Fuglsang joined the Spaniard on the podium where he had previously taken victories in 2004 and 2007. It capped a great week for Valverde having already won stages in Albuixech (Thursday) and Las Canteras, Cocentaina (Saturday).
Alejandro Valverde: “This victory is a reward to the great, hard work we did during the last few months with my recovery. That’s why I’m so happy, because I know where I come from and everything I had to go through in order to bounce back from such a serious crash and injuries I sustained.
“It’s quite different, this feeling, from the one when I won the race for the first time, 14 years ago. This time I’m coming back from a very serious injury, a seven-month period without any racing, and it’s really comforting to see I’m doing as well as I did or even better. I had many things to show yet in 2004. Now I’ve done everything I could in cycling, even though I keep the same love and excitement towards this sport.
“This victory goes to all of my team-mates. I want to thank them because they were phenomenal all week. Also to all the people who has helped and supported me during the seven months before this comeback. Seeing how I was doing in Mallorca, I knew I could contest the overall win, and my attack on stage two really made me realise I was on the right path to chase that win.
“I held some doubts before Mallorca about how my knee would keep up after several days of racing, but in those hard, rainy conditions we had last week, it reacted well. Even more so here. We’ve had rain at all five days in Valencia, as well as cold temperatures, tough climbs – happily, everything went great. My next races? Next weekend, at my home race in the Vuelta a Murcia and the Clásica de Almería, followed by the Abu Dhabi Tour later this month.”