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Victory for Valverde in Liege
26 Apr 2015 21:09
Spain's Alejandro Valverde wrapped up a remarkable Ardennes classics season when he won Liege-Bastogne-Liege, four days after triumphing on the Fleche Wallonne. The Movistar rider, who finished second in the Amstel Gold Race last Sunday, outsprinted a reduced group of top guns at the end of a hilly 253-kilometre ride. France's Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick Step) took second with another Spaniard, Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), finishing third. Rodriguez's team mate Dani Moreno attacked in the final kilometre but fell short as Valverde easily beat his rivals to claim his third Liege title.
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The 2009 Tour of Spain champion, whose late kick also earned him a third Fleche Wallonne title on Wednesday, completed his second Fleche and Liege double after 2006.
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"I did not panic when Moreno attacked. I could not be happier," the 35-year-old told reporters. Several pre-race favourites were effectively ruled out of contention in a crash that happened about 40 kilometres from the finish. Ireland's Dan Martin and Nicolas Roche, the Cannondale-Garmin and Team Sky leaders respectively, were involved with defending champion Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE) also hitting the tarmac.
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