Alejandro Valverde returns to racing with victory on La Route d'Occitanie opening stage

The world champion beat Eddie Dunbar to the line on the first stage of the French race

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) took victory on his first race appearance since being forced to take time out with injury, riding with ease to the win at the opening stage of the Route d'Occitanie.

The world champion took the overall at the four-stage French race last year, and beat Eddie Dunbar (Team Ineos) to the line on stage one of the 2019 edition.

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Richard Windsor

Follow on Twitter: @richwindy

Richard is digital editor of Cycling Weekly. Joining the team in 2013, Richard became editor of the website in 2014 and coordinates site content and strategy, leading the news team in coverage of the world's biggest races and working with the tech editor to deliver comprehensive buying guides, reviews, and the latest product news.

An occasional racer, Richard spends most of his time preparing for long-distance touring rides these days, or getting out to the Surrey Hills on the weekend on his Specialized Tarmac SL6 (with an obligatory pub stop of course).