Alejandro Valverde returned from injury to successfully defend his Route d’Occitanie title in the a race that has proved a happy hunting ground for Movistar Team’s riders over recent years, with five wins since 2011. After suffering a sacrum injury in a training ride accident back in the spring that had ruled him out o the Giro d’Italia, Valverde bounced straight back into the action with his first stage race win of 2019 which was also the 125th victory in his long and illustrious career.
All in all, I’m so happy with this result. As I said a couple of days ago, it really shows that the rest and preparations I’ve had for the past two months after my injury has been just what I needed. Now we move on to the Spanish Championships and, most importantly, the Tour de France. My goal, as I’ve already stated, is supporting Nairo and Mikel so the team does the best possible job at the Tour. I won’t be the team leader by any means – my goal is to support them 100% and enjoy wearing the rainbow jersey at the Tour. Should I have to lose some time in the early stages to favour their chances, I’ll be glad to. It’ll surely help us opt to some good results later on, be more free to move during the race.
British National Downhill Series
Gee Atherton opted to keep in race mode after a hectic June that saw him race in two World Cups with a trip to Rhyd-Y-Felin for the third round in the British series. Gee followed up a strong performance on the latest Atherton Bikes prototype in qualifying with an equally impressive race day, finishing in first, 1:59 ahead of Joe Breeden (Intense Racing UK). Atherton Racing team-mate Charlie Hatton came home in sixth place.