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"After his crash in the second week, he had to take antibiotics, he suffered a lot. Cycling is about sweat, health and form. It’s also true for Nairo Quintana who had a virus in the second week.

Photo: Sirotti








13.09.2015 @ 22:38 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Italian Fabio Aru (AST) claimed overall honours in the 70th Vuelta a España at Madrid's Plaza de Cibeles on Sunday, as the Movistar Team finished the final Grand Tour of the season. "Quite satisfied, despite our lack of health and fortune,", said general manager Eusebio Unzué.


The Movistar squad climbed again onto the final podium as winners of the teams' classification, their ninth victory in such ranking, doubling their success from last July in the Tour de France, while Nairo Quintana (4th, just under a minute behind second spot) increased the Blues' streak to eight Grand Tours, from the 2013 Tour, finishing with one of its riders within the top four overall.


Alejandro Valverde shone in Vejer, where he took his ninth stage victory in the Vuelta, and was seventh in the GC as well as the most regular thanks to the green jersey conquered today.


“If not satisfied, Nairo can at least end this race confident that, should things have gone better in terms of health, he could have been probably again in contention for the win, seeing how he performed yesterday,” remarked Unzué. “He clearly got stronger during the final week, rode an impressive TT and, despite the last four days weren't the most suited for him and it was difficult to bounce back after all time he lost, he really got to recover after such a delicate situation in Andorra. I'm happy with how he fared."


Regarding Valverde, and “with no desire to make up excuses, the medication he had to go through to get well after the inflammation and consequences from his crash in Benitatxell made that, for five days, he didn't look and perform like the always-hundred-percent Alejandro we're used to find. Later on, he felt significally well, did a strong TT and yesterday, with a bad moment on the Morcuera climb and the race situation afterwards, couldn't do much else. Considering his brilliant season so far, the fact that he most probably could have been in the top-5 without his crash - the incident doesn't allow us making a more serious analysis - and the fatigue from the Tour, where he got the reward he deserved at a very high cost, I feel like Alejandro did a nice Vuelta. I think he's very well placed for the next goals in the end of his season."


Amador, Erviti, Moreno, Rojas, Sutherland, Ventoso and Visconti completed a flawless group, with all seven making it to the finish in Madrid. “The team worked perfectly for its leaders, both rouleurs and climbers. A consequence of that regularity, always there to help out, is this win in the teams' classification, something we always appreciated and which rounds off a brilliant season for us so far.


“For Alejandro Valverde the green jersey is a reward for his Vuelta. After his crash in the second week, he had to take antibiotics, he suffered a lot. Cycling is about sweat, health and form. It’s also true for Nairo Quintana who had a virus in the second week but he stayed in the race and did not lose time in the stage in Andorra despite being on the verge of abandoning. He did a good third week but there was not enough mountain stages left. He finished well but he could not do better than fourth.”


“I think it is possible to perform well on two successive grand tours" Quintana said. I finished fourth after a bad start. I had a bad day in the Tour de France otherwise I would have been closer to the title. Here in La Vuelta I was sick during the rest day and it cost me later. In spite of that I ended up fourth. I think you can try to achieve the double. The Tour will be the major goal next year. For now we will focus on winning the Tour.”


"It's not just for me, the team worked hard throughout La Vuelta," Valverde said regarding the points jersey. "If there is something at stake, you have to dispute it. You have to fight for your place and if a jersey is at stake, you try to take it and that’s what I did. In this Vuelta I’ve got a stage win, I won the points classification and we won the team GC. The season is long but we still have a big goal in two weeks.”



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