Spain’s national coach Javier Minguez has criticised Alejandro Valverde’s failure to chase down Rui Costa when the Portuguese rider bridged across to Joaquim Rodriguez in the closing kilometres of the World Championships, and then went on to win.
Valverde has blamed his tactical error on not having the legs to follow Rui Costa. But for Minguez, who took over the job of Spanish trainer from Jose Luis De Santos this year, suggested that Valverde’s failure to react as the Portuguese rider jumped away was not satisfactory.
“Purito’s performance deserved a gold,” said Minguez, “and losing the gold in this way annoys me, although I’m pleased we got silver and bronze.”
“Joaquim raced fantastically well, but Valverde made a serious mistake. If Rui Costa goes for Purito, he has to go after him. If he had done that, he’d be in the rainbow jersey now.”
“He should have chased down anything that moved - even the television motorbike.”
Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for Cyclingnews.com, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.
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