Alejandro Valverde’s return to racing after nearly two months away from competition was a success as the world road champion wrapped up the overall title in Route d’Occitanie.
Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) won stage 4 of the race ahead of Sacha Modolo (EF Education First) and Julien Simon (Cofidis).
“All in all, I’m so happy with this result,” Valverde said after his victory.
“As I said a couple of days ago, it really shows that the rest and preparations I’ve had for the past two months after my injury has been just what I needed. Now we move on to the Spanish Championships and, most importantly, the Tour de France.
“My goal, as I’ve already stated, is supporting Nairo [Quintana] and Mikel [Landa] so the team does the best possible job at the Tour. I won’t be the team leader by any means – my goal is to support them 100% and enjoy wearing the rainbow jersey at the Tour.
“Should I have to lose some time in the early stages to favour their chances, I’ll be glad to. It’ll surely help us opt to some good results later on, be more free to move during the race.”
Route d’Occitanie 2019 – stage 4 results (Gers – Astarac Arros en Gascogne – Clermont-Pouyguillès):
|1||Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ)|
|2||Sacha Modolo (EF Education First)|
|3||Julien Simon (Cofidis)|
|4||David Gonzalez Lopez (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA)|
|5||José Joaquin Rojas (Movistar)|
|6||Anthony Maldonado (St Michel-Auber 93)|
|7||Julien El Fares (Delko Marseille Provence)|
|8||Sergei Chernetski (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA)|
|9||Garikoitz Bravo (Euskadi-Murias)|
|10||Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis)|
Route d’Occitanie 2019 – final general classification:
|1||Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)|
|2||Ivan Sosa (Team INEOS)|
|3||Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First)|
|4||Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale)|
|5||Edward Dunbar (Team INEOS)|
|6||Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani-CSF)|
|7||Joe Dombrowski (EF Education First)|
|8||Pavel Sivakov (Team INEOS)|
|9||Nans Peters (AG2R La Mondiale)|
|10||Óscar Rodríguez (Euskadi – Murias)|