Valverde takes the cheese

Alejandro Valverde takes the sprint

Alejandro Valverde takes the sprint (Image credit: AFP)

Spain's Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) claimed victory at the 69th Paris-Camembert Lepetit in France, proving his form ahead of this weekend's Amstel Gold Race. Valverde won the 202.7 kilometre race after out-sprinting his rivals in an up-hill finish, to win by more than a bike length.

"This is really the victory of the entire team Caisse d'Epargne and the proof once again that our team is really a formidable one," said Valverde. "We were able to perfectly control the many breakaways when went all the day through, till the last one, launched by Sandy Casar. The Frenchman attacked at 11 kilometres from the finish and we caught him at only 1500 metres from the line, but without any problem. The truth is that I felt pretty well so that I launched the sprint at 500 metres from the finishing line and I won easily ahead of Jérôme Pineau and Benoît Vaugrenard."

Valverde is hoping for a strong performance at this weekend's Amstel Gold Race, although he's aware it won't be easy given the form of his rivals. The 27 year-old claimed his best result at the event last year when he finished sixth.

"Five more days and we will be in the Amstel Gold Race already," he said. "My condition is each day better even if I know that my rivals' condition is very high and that it will not be easy for me. But I will take the start with a real motivation because those classics are very important traces and I really like them."

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