Road Race - Men: Murcia
The world champion beat Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) in a two-up sprint, with Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) taking the final spot on the podium 16 seconds later.
The trio had gone clear of the rest of the field on the final time up the Santuario de la Fuensanta (1km at 8 per cent), the climb that punctuated the 19km finishing circuit that was covered four times. With the bunch already well reduced, Herrada attacked early, and later had company when Sanchez accelerated and Valverde followed.
They took a slim lead down the descent before starting to attack each other on the flat final part. Sanchez, who'd tried a couple of times, produced a stinging attack with just over 3.5km to go, but while Herrada was dropped, Valverde, despite a little hesitation, responded and hauled himself back on terms.
The world champion then refused to work with Sanchez, who shook his head but continued to lead the way. Valverde remained in the wheel until the final 150 metres, before coming through to take the title, although the winning margin was tight.
Valverde took to the podium to pull on the red and yellow Spanish champion's jersey, but won't be able to wear it in a race until his time as world champion is over, given his rainbow jersey takes precedence. The 2019 Worlds road race takes place in Yorkshire on September 29, and it is not inconceivable that Valverde could win again and thus never race in his Spanish champion's jersey.
"I'm sorry that I'm not going to be able to enjoy this jersey for the time being, but I couldn't let a victory like that slip through my fingers," Valverde said.
"I went after Luis Leon and I told him I wasn't going to come through, and if the group behind came back I'd try and sprint for that. And he pulled. It's a shame not to be able to enjoy this jersey but if not now then next year."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team||4:33:49|
|2||Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team|
|3||Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis Solutions Credits||0:00:16|
|4||Diego Rubio (Spa) Burgos BH||0:00:18|
|5||Benjami Prades (Spa) Ukyo Team|
|6||Antonio Angulo (Spa) Efapel|
|7||Fernando Barcelo (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias|
|8||Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team|
|9||Julio Alberto Amores (Spa) Electro Hiper Europa|
|10||Vicente Garcia D.M. (Spa) Aviludo Louletano|
|11||Juan Camacho (Spa) Kometa Cycling Team|
|12||Jesus Alfonso Arozamena (Spa) Supermercados Froiz|
|13||Jorge M. Montenegro (Spa) Aluminios Cortizo|
|14||Jesus Del Pino (Spa) Vito Feirense Pnb|
|15||Sergio Roman Martin (Spa) Caja Rural Urbasa-Seguros RGA|
|16||Hector Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team|
|17||Salvador Guardiola (Spa) Kinan Cycling Team|
|18||Jose Manuel Diaz (Spa) Vorarlberg Team|
|19||Samuel Blanco (Spa) Vigo-Rías Baixas|
|20||Juan Pedro Lopez (Spa) Kometa Cycling Team|
|21||Oscar Hernandez (Spa) Aviludo Louletano|
|22||Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team||0:00:25|
|23||Ion Izaguirre (Spa) Astana Pro Team|
|24||Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Astana Pro Team||0:00:28|
|25||Rafael Valls (Spa) Movistar Team|
|26||Alexander Aranburu (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA||0:00:33|
|27||Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team||0:00:35|
|28||Eloy Teruel (Spa) Gsport Plat. C. Iberum Wolfbi||0:00:50|
|29||Miguel A. Ballesteros (Spa) Valverde Team-Terra Fecundis|
|30||Joan Bou (Spa) Nippo - Vini Fantini - Faizan|
|31||Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis Solutions Credits|
|32||Jonathan Lastra (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA|
|33||Ibai Azurmendi (Spa) Team Euskadi|
|34||Iñaki Gozalbez (Spa) Mutua Levante-Ale|
|35||Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Matrix Powertag|
|36||Martin Lestido (Spa) Supermercados Froiz|
|37||Sergio Pardilla (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA|
|38||Diego Noriega (Spa) Supermercados Froiz||0:00:55|
|39||Oscar Rodriguez (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias|
|40||Garikoitz Bravo (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias|
|41||Javier Gil (Spa) Baqué Berango||0:01:20|
|42||Mauro Rato (Spa) Kuota-C. Paulino|
|43||Ivan Moreno (Spa) Lizarte|
|44||Marti Marquez (Spa) Lizarte|
|45||Sebastian Mora (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA|
|46||Isaac Canton (Spa) Kometa Cycling Team|
|47||Guillem Muñoz (Spa) Bike Kids|
|48||Ivan Martinez (Spa) Supermercados Froiz|
|49||Mikel Iturria (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias||0:04:43|
|50||Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar Team||0:04:47|
|51||Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team|
|52||Eusebio Pascual (Spa) Caja Rural Urbasa-Seguros RGA|
|53||David Galarreta (Spa) Guerciotti - Kiwi Atlantico||0:05:46|
|54||Mikel Alonso (Spa) Team Euskadi|
|55||Eric Valiente (Spa) Vib Sports|
|56||Xavier Cañellas (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA|
|57||Hector Saez (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias||0:07:20|
|58||Carlos Verona (Spa) Movistar Team||0:10:36|
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