In claiming his first major classic on Wednesday, April 19, Alejandro Valverde Belmonte once again demonstrated his incredible versatility on two wheels. The question now being asked is: 'Does he also have the capability to challenge for victory at the Tour de France?' Brecht Decaluwé found out his plans at the post-race press conference.
Cyclingnews: First of all, congratulations with your victory. This race looks like it's made for a rider like you.
Alejandro Valverde: It's only the second time I've competed at this race. The 'Mur' pleased me [last year] and I wanted to come back here. Yesterday, we did a reconnaissance ride with the team and I liked it even more!
CN: In those last kilometres, we saw attacks from Steegmans and Etxebarria. How did you interpret the finale?
AV: My main focus was to win this race, nothing else, but there were a lot of other guys aiming for the same goal. It was a very fast race, but I had very good legs. I tried to wait as long as possible, as the CSC train constantly brought everybody back. When Etxebarria attacked, I just followed him. When I saw that Sanchez and Kroon were coming back on us, I accelerated at my maximum.
Click here for the full interview.