Valverde looks to "important" Dauphiné TT

Spanish Champion Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne)

Spanish Champion Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) (Image credit: AFP Photo)

After finishing stage three of the Dauphiné Libéré in 28th, defending champion Alejandro Valverde has set his sights on the 42.4km individual time trial which is sure to mix up the general classification.

Valverde finished the day to Saint-Étienne 1:32 behind winner Niki Terpstra, although he said it offered a little respite after the previous stage's endeavours. "Compared to yesterday's stage, which seemed to be such a long one, today's stage seemed to be very short. Moreover, it was a rather nervous one because of the course," he said.

"Before the start we decided to try and win the stage if we saw an opportunity to do so but the circumstances of the race changed our plans. We decided not to chase behind the breakaway and just control the race so that our adversaries do their share of the job behind them on the eve of such an important day as tomorrow - with a 42 km individual time trial," Valverde said of Caisse d'Epargne's tactics.

He made his ambitions for the following day clear, however. "I want to realise the best possible time to be amongst the first in the overall ranking before the mountain stages which is where I can make the difference with my adversaries," he explained. "I am feeling well and the result I got in the opening time trial motivates me a lot so that I hope that tomorrow will be a good day."

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