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“But my morale is good, particularly after Wednesday’s win, where I felt in top form. Sunday’s a very different kind of race, but I’ve already shown I could do well there too,” Alejandro Valverde said.

Photo: Sirotti

ALEJANDRO VALVERDE

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FLECHE WALLONNE

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LIÈGE - BASTOGNE - LIÈGE

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MOVISTAR TEAM

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27.04.2014 @ 10:15 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Alejandro Valverde will be eager to make himself a late birthday present in form of a career’s third Liege-Bastogne-Liege victory, as he lines up in the tough Ardennes finale today as one of the biggest favorites take the spoils in the hilly monument.

 

Valverde, who turned 34 last Friday, finally managed to break a long draught in Ardennes with an emphatic Fleche Wallonne victory four days ago and certainly hopes to continue in the same line in Liege today.

 

However, the Movistar captain acknowledges that the return of the Cote de Roche aux Faucons and the Côte des Forges climbs in the final part of the anyway demanding course of the hilly monument “will make it a much harder finale. It changes things quite a bit.”

 

“But my morale is good, particularly after Wednesday’s win, where I felt in top form. Sunday’s a very different kind of race, but I’ve already shown I could do well there too,” - with his most recent result in Liège-Bastogne-Liège a third place in 2013 as well as wins in 2006 and 2008.

 

“One worry I have is the weather, hopefully it’ll stay dry”, and it seems that first of Valverde’s wishes will be fulfilled, as despite first predictions of heavy rainfalls on Sunday, riders should be welcomed by moderately favorable weather conditions with only light showers forecasted for the afternoon.

 

Treated as a main favorite to take the spoils in Liege-Bastogne-Liege 100th edition following his highly convincing victory in the Fleche Wallonne, the 34-year old Spaniard expects the race to be wide open due to changed finale and many riders being in a top disposition.

 

“We’ll be one of several teams wanting to control the race, not just our two. There’s Purito (Rodriguez) and Dani Moreno (Katusha) as well, (Vincenzo) Nibali (Astana), (Bauke) Mollema (Belkin) who’s supposed to be stronger than ever. There’s a lot of different people.”

 

With eight victories to date, Valverde enjoys his best ever season’s opening, but admitted that the last win claimed on Wednesday was the most valuable one, what was easy to tell after observing spontaneous reactions of the experienced Spaniard as he crossed the finish line on the Mur de Huy. Movistar captain certainly hopes to continue in the same line in Liege today, before taking w well-deserved break and turning all his focus to the Tour de France preparations.

 

“That’ll be my first break of the year. So far, it’s been a very good season for me, above all after taking this last win,” Valverde - who now has eight victories this season - reflected. 

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