A terrific Alejandro Valverde takes stage 4 of Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2018. The Movistar rider crossed the finish line set in Cocentaina ahead of Adam Yates (Mitchelton – Scott), overtaken in the last 200 meters by a decisive sprint of the spaniard. Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) and Primoz Roglic ( Lotto Nl – Jumbo) followed the British, who ended his effort 4 seconds after the winner. In this way, Valverde keeps the leader’s jersey and runs as the main candidate for the victory of the overall.
Unlikely to the typical scenario, the group does not let any attack arise. Many attempts are carachterising the first hour and half of race and every breakaway is done in vain, with the peloton stopping every try. After 65 kms, breakaway finally establishes: with two minutes on the main group, Vasil Kiryenka (Sky), Reto Hollestein (Katusha – Alpecin), Cristian Rodríguez (Caja Rural – Seuros RGA), Enrique Sáez (Murias – Euskadi), Juan Camacho (Polartec – Kometa) and Ion Insausti (Euskadi) lead the race. At 30 kms to the finish are still in the front only Hollenstein, Rodriguez and Kiryenka, reached in a second time by Michal kwiatkowski (Sky), escaped from the bunch. The lead of the breakaway – which peak reached 45 seconds of advantage – wears thin because of the hard work of Astana and Movistar in the head of the bunch.
The break is kept until the slopes of the final climb, where Kwiatkowski drops his mates and goes solo, then reached by Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain Merida). The Italian drops the polish in turn at 9 kms to go and goes strenght to strenght trying to keep the same pace which let him escape from the group. At 3 kms to go Visconti loses out to the group, led by BMC athletes, and gets definitely caught. Initially Primoz Roglic (Lotto Nl – Jumbo), then Amaro Antunes (CCC – Sprandi) and in the end Adam Yates (Mitchelton – Scott) try to escape, with the result of skimming the leading group, made up of six elements, joined by other three under the flamme rouge. Yates tries for the second time to escape but this time with success. The british goes away successfully but at a later stage Alejandro Valverde kicks off. The Murcia native try is visibly irresistible and, as soon as he catches Yates, doubles the Mitchelton’s man and goes for a solo victory which crowns him as the strongest in this 2018 Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.
1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 04:48:35
2 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott + 0:00:04
3 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team “
4 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits + 0:00:09
5 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo + 0:00:10
6 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team “
7 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team + 0:00:15
8 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Mitchelton-Scott + 0:00:18
9 Kilian Frankiny (Swi) BMC Racing Team + 0:00:24
10 Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy + 0:00:30
1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 13:16:23
2 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team + 0:00:14
3 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team + 0:00:26
4 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton – Scott + 0:00:37
5 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis + 0:00:48
6 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL – Jumbo + 0:00:49
7 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team + 0:00:54
8 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Mitchelton – Scott + 0:00:57
9 Kilian Frankiny (Swi) BMC Racing Team + 0:01:03
10 Amaro Manuel Antunes (Por) CCC – Sprandi + 0:01:09