Spanish ‘Campionissimo’ from Movistar Team overtakes Woods (IPT) at decisive Sarria ITT to take 3rd in the stage, open the palmarès of the new Galician race
A sensational way to crown a great week all around for the Movistar Team. In the day after they took their victory account to 1,000 with success obtained by Annemiek van Vleuten and Alejandro Valverde in Belgium and Galicia, ‘Bala’ completed four days of splendid teamwork and great individual attitude by notching up on Sunday the first edition of O Gran Camiño, the new international Galician stagerace, by taking 3rd in the demanding final ITT in and around Sarria, Lugo.
Only the day’s winner Mark Padun (EFE), eventually third overall, and Jesús Herrada (COF) were quicker than Alejandro on the hilly time trial course, the marvel from Murcia able to bridge the 10-second gap against former leader Michael Woods (IPT) and finish with a 7″ margin overall. In the meantime, Iván Sosa, one of Alejandro’s biggest pieces of support en route to Saturday’s success in Luintra, would take 5th in the GC.
The contribution from Rojas, Oliveira, Izagirre, Serrano and Arcas was also crucial for Valverde to take his 133rd professional victory and the men’s Movistar Team’s third 2022 success -now ‘tied’ with the women’s program-, the Eusebio Unzué-led squad enjoying the best face of this sport in recent times.
REACTION / Alejandro Valverde:
“I’m happy, more than anything, about being able to take this GC to reward the team for their huge work all week. They really rode their hearts out for the last four days, and being able to take the first edition of the race, so well organised and run, is something really beautiful. We claimed the stage win yesterday, I was up there all four days -third in Vigo, second on Friday, also third today together with the GC- and I’m leaving this nice region with so much excitement. I had already taked with race organiser Ezequiel Mosquera before coming here, and he passed on his desire of making this race a great one from the very start. Fans were enthusiastic, routes were excxellent and hopefully this event lasts for a long time.”