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Valverde adds Spanish road race title to world title

Road Race - Men: Murcia -

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."

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team4:33:49
2Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team
3Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis Solutions Credits0:00:16
4Diego Rubio (Spa) Burgos BH0:00:18
5Benjami Prades (Spa) Ukyo Team
6Antonio Angulo (Spa) Efapel
7Fernando Barcelo (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
8Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team
9Julio Alberto Amores (Spa) Electro Hiper Europa
10Vicente Garcia D.M. (Spa) Aviludo Louletano
11Juan Camacho (Spa) Kometa Cycling Team
12Jesus Alfonso Arozamena (Spa) Supermercados Froiz
13Jorge M. Montenegro (Spa) Aluminios Cortizo
14Jesus Del Pino (Spa) Vito Feirense Pnb
15Sergio Roman Martin (Spa) Caja Rural Urbasa-Seguros RGA
16Hector Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team
17Salvador Guardiola (Spa) Kinan Cycling Team
18Jose Manuel Diaz (Spa) Vorarlberg Team
19Samuel Blanco (Spa) Vigo-Rías Baixas
20Juan Pedro Lopez (Spa) Kometa Cycling Team
21Oscar Hernandez (Spa) Aviludo Louletano
22Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:00:25
23Ion Izaguirre (Spa) Astana Pro Team
24Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:00:28
25Rafael Valls (Spa) Movistar Team
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 Fecundis
30Joan Bou (Spa) Nippo - Vini Fantini - Faizan
31Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis Solutions Credits
32Jonathan Lastra (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
33Ibai Azurmendi (Spa) Team Euskadi
34Iñaki Gozalbez (Spa) Mutua Levante-Ale
35Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Matrix Powertag
36Martin Lestido (Spa) Supermercados Froiz
37Sergio Pardilla (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
38Diego Noriega (Spa) Supermercados Froiz0:00:55
39Oscar Rodriguez (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
40Garikoitz Bravo (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
41Javier Gil (Spa) Baqué Berango0:01:20
42Mauro Rato (Spa) Kuota-C. Paulino
43Ivan Moreno (Spa) Lizarte
44Marti Marquez (Spa) Lizarte
45Sebastian Mora (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
46Isaac Canton (Spa) Kometa Cycling Team
47Guillem Muñoz (Spa) Bike Kids
48Ivan Martinez (Spa) Supermercados Froiz
49Mikel Iturria (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:04:43
50Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar Team0:04:47
51Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team
52Eusebio Pascual (Spa) Caja Rural Urbasa-Seguros RGA
53David Galarreta (Spa) Guerciotti - Kiwi Atlantico0:05:46
54Mikel Alonso (Spa) Team Euskadi
55Eric Valiente (Spa) Vib Sports
56Xavier Cañellas (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
57Hector Saez (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:07:20
58Carlos Verona (Spa) Movistar Team0:10:36

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