The Vuelta is perhaps the biggest thorn in the side of Alejandro Valverde's career. Four top-five finishes out of four Vuelta participations; a formidable record that he was determined to improve upon at the start of this year's race.
Absence from the Tour de France in July may equate to a big advantage as a well prepared, highly motivated Valverde lined up in Assen on the final Saturday in August. His proven track record at his home Grand Tour requires just one final boost. His performance and these images will tell the tale.
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