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Rain doesn't dampen efforts of Cunego and Valverde

Cunego climbs on his machine

Cunego climbs on his machine (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Racers saw their share of wet weather in Saturday's stage eight, but two favorites, Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) and Damiano Cunego (Lampre) stayed out of trouble despite the conditions and are looking ahead to the high mountains.

Cunego and his team-mates pedalled into the finish just behind the front of the main bunch and avoiding two crashes.

"This is a strange Tour, almost every day it's raining," said Cunego said. "Forecasts say rain for tomorrow, too."

Nonetheless, Cunego will be giving it his best in the mountains. "I will try to understand if I've recovered the efforts of the last stages, and I will give my best in order to realize a good performance," he said.

Valverde was another favorite who finished the day with no incidents. "Fortunately, everything went well for us," said Valverde. "On the eve of the first stage in the Pyrenees, which will take place tomorrow with the Cols of Peyresourde and Aspin to climb, I am very happy with what I achieved 'til now."

Valverde cited the team's two stage wins, his and that of Luis León Sánchez the previous day. He was also happy with Oscar Pereiro's place in the overall GC.

"We will try not to lose time in the Pyrenees and arrive in the Alps in very good condition," said Valverde, "because I believe that they will decide who will be the final winner of the Grande Boucle."

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