Abu Dhabi Tour: Alejandro Valverde wins final stage to secure race victory

Alejandro Valverde

Alejandro Valverde thanked his team after his win

Spain’s Alejandro Valverde won the Abu Dhabi Tour after victory on the final stage of the five-day race.

The Movistar rider broke clear with Astana’s Miguel Angel Lopez on the summit of Jebel Hafeet with four kilometres to go.

Valverde prevailed to win the 199km stage and the race, while Team Sunweb’s Wilco Kelderman was 17 seconds behind him in second place overall.

“I’m super happy with this victory,” said 37-year-old Valverde.

“Before anything, I just want to thank the whole team for their phenomenal work all week, keeping me well protected leading up to the weekend and Sunday’s climb, so I just had to push when it was needed.

“It’s our first WorldTour victory of the season, which makes it all the more important against the top guns.”

Overnight leader Rohan Dennis struggled on the climb and ended up one minute and 45 seconds behind Valverde.

World time trial champion Tom Dumoulin suffered a puncture in Saturday’s time trial and endured a mechanical problem on the final stage.

Stage five results:

1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) 4hrs 38mins 47secs

2. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana) same time

3. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Quick-Step Floors) +15secs

4. Rafal Majka (Pol/Bora-Hansgrohe) same time

5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Team Sunweb) same time

Final standings:

1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) 16hr 00min 11secs

2. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Team Sunweb) +17secs

3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana)+29secs

4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Quick-Step Floors) +31secs

5. Rafal Majka (Pol/Bora-Hansgrohe) +45secs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/43189522

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