Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has won the 37th edition of the Vuelta a Murcia.
Having already won the race four times before, Valverde was determined to add a fifth as he attacked with 70 kilometers to go and kept a chasing group with Tony Gallopin and Tiesj Benoot at bay.
Colombian Jhonatan Restrepo (Katusha-Alpecin) took second in front of the Austrian Patrick Konrad (Bora-hansgrohe).
“It really was hard, mainly because of those strong headwinds in the later part of the race down to Murcia. I had planned to jump from the bottom of the Collado Bermejo, and I had my team-mates pushing hard from the Aledo part of the climb, but I was really hoping for someone to come from behind and take some turns with me.”, said Valverde.
”In the end, I saw I was alone and I told to myself: ‘I keep going on the descent, and should they catch me, maybe I can go for it in the sprint, and shouldn’t they, I win’ – and I made it to the finish. I just had to give it a try, even it it was so far away from the finish and it was a long shot, but that was the only point where I could win solo from. I took that chance, and I succeeded.
“It’s always special for me to win on home roads – this victory goes to all the people in this region, who always cheer for me so much when I’m racing abroad. It truly is the most beautiful of the five I’ve achieved here: it was a big effort and so tough to keep up against the wind and the climbs to win here. After Nairo’s success in Valencia, things are looking really promising for us this season – it’s just taking from where we left, after we won those four consecutive WorldTour titles all the way up to 2016. Now it’s about having some rest and taking the start of the Ruta del Sol on Wednesday. There, we’ll find Alberto Contador and many other big riders, and we will have to try and continue with this streak.”
Vuelta a Murcia 2017 results:
|1||Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)|
|2||Jhonatan Restrepo (Katusha-Alpecin)|
|3||Patrick Konrad (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|4||Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Soudal)|
|5||Baptiste Planckaert (Katusha-Alpecin)|
|6||Ion Izagirre (Bahrain Merida)|
|7||Christopher Juul-Jensen (Orica-Scott)|
|8||Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal)|
|9||Peter Weening (Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij)|
|10||Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-hansgrohe)|