Movistar Team put in a dominating performance at the Route du Sud last week. Two stage wins, two further podiums and second in the overall classification with Alejandro Valverde rounded out a successful campaign in the French Pyrenean stage race.
Stage one saw a tough summit finish atop the Sainte Marie-de-Campan at 1106 metres above sea level. Spanish national champion, Jesus Herrada, attacked on the climb aboard his Ultimate CF SLX and took the stage to notch up his first win in 2014, while Valverde lead home the rest of the peloton to take second. With Herrada’s success, Movistar Team also celebrated their 100th ever victory, a landmark achievement for the Spanish squad.
Build-up to Tour de France
Although just three days long, the Route du Sud is a key warm up to the fast-approaching Tour de France. Stage two included some of the Tour’s most famous climbs, taking the riders over the Col du Tourmalet and the Col d’Aspin. Valverde further proved his good form by coming in third place on this brutal day.
Adriano Malori finished off the race in the perfect way by winning the final stage into Castres with an incredible 20 km solo attack. The Italian took the sprinters’ teams by surprise and crossed the line just 5 seconds ahead of his pursuers for Movistar Team’s 19th win of the season.
Following such an impressive showing, things are looking up for Eusebio Unzué’s squad going into July and the biggest race of the year, the Tour de France. Valverde clearly has the form and will go into his 7th ever Tour on July the 5th as one of the big favourites for the title.