Valverde adds Spanish road race title to world title

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) claimed his third Spanish national road race title on Sunday in his home town of 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."


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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team4:33:49
2Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 1 - Cell 2
3Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis Solutions Credits0:00:16
4Diego Rubio (Spa) Burgos BH0:00:18
5Benjami Prades (Spa) Ukyo TeamRow 4 - Cell 2
6Antonio Angulo (Spa) EfapelRow 5 - Cell 2
7Fernando Barcelo (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 6 - Cell 2
8Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Julio Alberto Amores (Spa) Electro Hiper EuropaRow 8 - Cell 2
10Vicente Garcia D.M. (Spa) Aviludo LouletanoRow 9 - Cell 2
11Juan Camacho (Spa) Kometa Cycling TeamRow 10 - Cell 2
12Jesus Alfonso Arozamena (Spa) Supermercados FroizRow 11 - Cell 2
13Jorge M. Montenegro (Spa) Aluminios CortizoRow 12 - Cell 2
14Jesus Del Pino (Spa) Vito Feirense PnbRow 13 - Cell 2
15Sergio Roman Martin (Spa) Caja Rural Urbasa-Seguros RGARow 14 - Cell 2
16Hector Carretero (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 15 - Cell 2
17Salvador Guardiola (Spa) Kinan Cycling TeamRow 16 - Cell 2
18Jose Manuel Diaz (Spa) Vorarlberg TeamRow 17 - Cell 2
19Samuel Blanco (Spa) Vigo-Rías BaixasRow 18 - Cell 2
20Juan Pedro Lopez (Spa) Kometa Cycling TeamRow 19 - Cell 2
21Oscar Hernandez (Spa) Aviludo LouletanoRow 20 - Cell 2
22Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:00:25
23Ion Izaguirre (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:00:28
25Rafael Valls (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 24 - Cell 2
26Alexander Aranburu (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:00:33
27Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:35
28Eloy Teruel (Spa) Gsport Plat. C. Iberum Wolfbi0:00:50
29Miguel A. Ballesteros (Spa) Valverde Team-Terra FecundisRow 28 - Cell 2
30Joan Bou (Spa) Nippo - Vini Fantini - FaizanRow 29 - Cell 2
31Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis Solutions CreditsRow 30 - Cell 2
32Jonathan Lastra (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 31 - Cell 2
33Ibai Azurmendi (Spa) Team EuskadiRow 32 - Cell 2
34Iñaki Gozalbez (Spa) Mutua Levante-AleRow 33 - Cell 2
35Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Matrix PowertagRow 34 - Cell 2
36Martin Lestido (Spa) Supermercados FroizRow 35 - Cell 2
37Sergio Pardilla (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 36 - Cell 2
38Diego Noriega (Spa) Supermercados Froiz0:00:55
39Oscar Rodriguez (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 38 - Cell 2
40Garikoitz Bravo (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 39 - Cell 2
41Javier Gil (Spa) Baqué Berango0:01:20
42Mauro Rato (Spa) Kuota-C. PaulinoRow 41 - Cell 2
43Ivan Moreno (Spa) LizarteRow 42 - Cell 2
44Marti Marquez (Spa) LizarteRow 43 - Cell 2
45Sebastian Mora (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 44 - Cell 2
46Isaac Canton (Spa) Kometa Cycling TeamRow 45 - Cell 2
47Guillem Muñoz (Spa) Bike KidsRow 46 - Cell 2
48Ivan Martinez (Spa) Supermercados FroizRow 47 - Cell 2
49Mikel Iturria (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:04:43
50Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar Team0:04:47
51Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 50 - Cell 2
52Eusebio Pascual (Spa) Caja Rural Urbasa-Seguros RGARow 51 - Cell 2
53David Galarreta (Spa) Guerciotti - Kiwi Atlantico0:05:46
54Mikel Alonso (Spa) Team EuskadiRow 53 - Cell 2
55Eric Valiente (Spa) Vib SportsRow 54 - Cell 2
56Xavier Cañellas (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 55 - Cell 2
57Hector Saez (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:07:20
58Carlos Verona (Spa) Movistar Team0:10:36

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