Movistar rider uses local knowledge to go on dare-devil descents
Alejandro Valverde took his fifth win in the Vuelta a Murcia on Saturday with a daring 70km solo attack, taking the victory by more than two minutes.
The Spaniard started to build his advantage on the main climb of the day, but really cemented it on the two descents that followed, attacking so hard that he even managed to get both wheels off the ground at one point.
Valverde was born in the village of Las Lumbreras slightly to the east of the city and still lives in the area, with his years of training on the roads of south-eastern Spain giving him the confidence to attack descents with such speed that he even caught some air.
This local knowledge certainly came in handy as he embarked on a couple of dare-devil descents on Saturday, after going on a solo attack over the Collado Bermejo climb around the mid-point of the race.
By the bottom of the final climb of the day with 35km remaining, Valverde had used the misty conditions to open an advantage of more than three-and-a-half minutes, and although this was trimmed by the advancing peloton on the flat run to the finish, the Movistar rider still had plenty of time to celebrate in his home town.