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Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) celebrates on the podium.
Spaniard and two teammates drive up from Spain
Alejandro Valverde of Caisse d'Epargne is the latest rider to arrive in Liege after a long road trip from Spain to Belgium. Unable to catch a flight because the volcano eruption-closed airports across northern Europe, the Spaniard missed Sunday's Amstel Gold Race but set off northwards in his own car.
“I trained well in the morning and after dinner I went to pick up my teammate Luis Leon Sanchez, who lives in Mula, to undertake the long journey,” Valverde wrote on his website. “In Barcelona we stopped to pick up another colleague of ours, Luis Pasamontes, who was there from Madrid.”
The three took turns driving through the night, arriving in Liege Monday morning at seven. They breakfasted and then “went to bed to get some sleep.”
"It was hard on the road, but there was no other remedy, so it was the best option. By Wednesday we will be well recovered to participate in the Flèche Wallonne and then Sunday in the Liege-Bastogne-Liège.”
Most riders have now arrived in Belgium for the Ardennes Classics. However other riders are still struggling to get home from the Presidential Tour of Turkey.
Valverde is still awaiting the verdict of the Court for Arbitration for Sport after an appeal from the UCI regarding his alleged involvement in Operacion Puerto. However on Tuesday race organisers ASO said they would respect the drawn out legal process and allow Valverde to ride Flèche Wallonne and Sunday's Liege-Bastogne-Liège.”