Valverde to wear Spanish National Champion's jersey at Tour

Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) was crowned the new Spanish National Champion in Talavera de...

Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) was crowned the new Spanish National Champion in Talavera de la Reina after 202 km including three trips up the Alto de Piélago. The rider from Murcia was able to take advantage of the work of his team-mates in order to defeat Oscar Sevilla (Rock Racing) in the sprint. Valverde's team-mate Oscar Pereiro finished third.

"Today, as they have been doing since the beginning of the season, my Caisse d’Epargne team-mates did a perfect job, and I had nothing to do but finish what they started," said a happy Valverde after winning his first Spanish national title.

"The course of this championship was very difficult and that was a very good thing for me," said Valverde. "I thought I was able to go alone behind Sevilla who was in the lead and I indeed caught him. From that moment on I was very quiet because I knew my team-mates perfectly controlled the race behind. Logically I am faster than Sevilla but you never know what can happen in such a sprint with only two riders. But I won the race!

"And now the Tour!" he said, "that is another story, but I am very proud to present myself at the start [next weekend] with the jersey of Spanish champion on the shoulders."

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