Valverde helps Movistar seal third WorldTour team victory

Spanish team beat Katusha by just 13 points

Alejandro Valverde might have missed out on a podium at Sunday’s Il Lombardia, but his fourth place was enough to ensure that his Movistar team secured the WorldTour team ranking for the third year running.

Valverde had already cemented his place at the top of the individual rankings ahead of the race, giving the Spanish outfit their second WorldTour double. Valverde had gone into the race as the favourite but was unable to match late attacks. He was forced to battle it out for the minor placings but it proved enough for Movistar to edge out Katusha by a narrow 13-point margin, despite a second place for Daniel Moreno.

"It has been a long and intense year and we had to give it our all in everything, one last effort to crown this great season," said Movistar team manager Eusebio Unzué. “We were looking to be attentive in all the phases so that no attacks caught us by surprise.

"After the Ghisallo, the race was done at the rhythm of Astana; they were doing a lot of work for the victory and then near the final Dani (Moreno) seemed like the stronger man, who could have put us in difficulty in the WorldTour (rankings). Alejandro, who was already about to suffer from cramps, endured and knew how to measure himself without forcing more than necessary and didn’t pull, if he’d been able to go with Nibali then he knew he could have stayed with his rival as he has done before."

Second place for Katusha team is their best ever finish in the competition. Katusha had been leading the competition just a few weeks ago but Movistar’s bronze medal winning performance in the World Championship team time trial – matched with Katusha’s poor showing – saw them move back up to the top of the table. They went into Il Lombardia, the final WorldTour race on the calendar, with a small lead over Katusha.

The latter suffered a serious blow to their chances after Joaquim Rodríguez was forced to pull out of the race on Saturday morning following a collision with a signpost during training. Daniel Moreno, who is set to leave Katusha at the end of the season, was in strong form though and looked like he could deliver Katusha the race and WorldTour win. However, Valverde didn’t give up and beat Astana’s Diego Rosa in the sprint for fourth place.

Movistar have had a bumper season, with both Valverde and Nairo Quintana making it onto the podium at the Tour de France, while Valverde also took victories at Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Valverde extended his lead over Rodriguez in the individual rankings at Il Lombardia, to bring his winning margin to 201 points. He and Rodriguez’s performances throughout the season have helped to seal Spain their sixth overall win in a dominating fashion.

Team Ranking

#TeamPoints
1Movistar Team1619 pts
2Team Katusha1606 
3Team Sky1378 
4Etixx - Quick-Step1158 
5Astana Pro Team1106 
6BMC Racing Team1010 
7Tinkoff-Saxo929 
8Orica GreenEdge845 
9Lotto Soudal832 
10Team Giant-Alpecin769 
11AG2R La Mondiale587 
12Lampre-Merida566 
13Trek Factory Racing529 
14Team LottoNL-Jumbo485 
15FDJ.fr439 
16Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team340 
17IAM Cycling189 
Individual Rankings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamPoints
1Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team675 pts
2Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha474 
3Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team457 
4Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha453 
5Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team448 
6Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky430 
7Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo407 
8Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team324 
9Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida324 
10Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr319 
11Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky314 
12John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin302 
13Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step301 
14Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky283 
15Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin271 
16Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha269 
17Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo257 
18Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale242 
19Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team238 
20Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEdge221 
Nation Ranking
#CountryPoints
1Spain1945 pts
2Italy1106 
3Colombia1099 
4Great Britain1041 
5Belgium905 
6France881 
7Netherlands848 
8Australia777 
9Germany587 
10Norway453 
11Poland376 
12Portugal355 
13Czech Republic306 
14Slovenia294 
15Switzerland270 
16Slovakia257 
17Russia257 
18United States158 
19Denmark115 
20Ireland111 

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