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Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) looks ahead as he goes in search of victory
Spaniard suffered along the way but held on to take the win
Snow and cold are not Alejandro Valverde's friends, but the Caisse d'Epargne captain overcame the bad weather in the Tour Méditerranéen to take the overall title on Sunday. He finished second in the closing mountain-top finish to capture the win and dedicated the win to his new born son and the French public who braved the conditions to watch the race.
Valverde had been in sixth place, only 10 seconds down, going into the final stage. He led a three-man chase group across the finish line, only eight seconds behind stage winner Francesco Masciarelli (Acqua & Sapone).
“This victory is dedicated to Pablo, my newborn son,” the proud father said after the stage. Valverde's third son was born at the end of January.
The entire race was overshadowed by the bad winter weather which has struck Europe this year. “I felt good all week,” he said, but after all the cold, rain and snow that manhandled us on Wednesday,” he was not sure what he could accomplish on the closing ride up Mont Faron.
“I suffered a few times,” he said.
“But I though about all work done by my Caisse d'Epargne teammates during the past week and knew I could not disappoint them,” Valverde added.
“This was my first participation in the Tour Méditerranéen and I loved how I was received by the organisation and the public. I also dedicate this victory to the French fans,” he concluded.