Valverde caresses glory in his last days as a professional

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The Murcian had the victory in his hands just nine days after his retirement, but the Dutchman Bax overtook him in the final meters of Lissone.

On September 29, a historic cyclist like Alejandro Valverde missed a world championship that seemed destined to crown a historic career. Portugal’s Rui Costa, however, dressed in rainbows as a 30-year-old from Murcia was again relegated to the podium. Another 29 September, this time in 2022, nine years after that bittersweet afternoon in Florence, the ‘Bala’, already more than 42 years old, is close to victory in the Coppa Agostoni, he escapes in the last meters, so only abandoned forever nine days after pro cycling. But after 133 wins, with no bills outstanding, he smiles wistfully as he poses with his second-placed trophy in Lissone. He is happy because everything makes him happy. Until I came in second.

In 2018, at the age of 38, the World Cup thorn was removed with that suicidal sprint in Innsbruck. He wept, celebrated, and closed a wound that seemed incurable. But after the common hangover of misfortune that accompanies the multicolored sweater, he returned to the path of triumph in a professional twilight that, despite being felt on the horizon, never seemed to be real. Even in his last season on the track, well over 40, he won at Port d’Andratx and O Gran Camiño.

Likewise, after the thousand tributes in La Vuelta, Valverde remains a capital of the rescued Movistar. The veteran is Unzué’s main trick in the Italian fall classics; he is in shape, he lives these days motivated by his approaching farewell and wants to write the last epic verses for his epic.

In this Thursday’s Coppa Agostoni, he led the race, going into the cut and benefiting from the work of Enric Mas (ninth overall), but when the Murcian’s achievement was smelled, Dutchman Sjoerd Bax (Alpecin) won in the last meters. It is the first victory as a pro for 26-year-old Bax. He managed to grab Valverde’s wheel in a sprint that may have started the Murcian from too far and frustrated ‘El Bala”s victory. “Second place from Spain, His Majesty Alejandro Valverde,” said the speaker to claim his presence on the podium.

Source: La Verdad

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