By Andrew Hood
Alejandro Valverde (CV-Kelme) just can’t help himself.
The 23-year-old Spanish sensation sped to his third victory of the week in Sunday’s fifth stage of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon (SPA 2.3) in northern Spain, pipping Martin Perdiguero (Saunier Duval) in a bunch sprint. Angel Edo (Milaneza) came through to take third in the 155km stage from Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo. Koldo Gil (Liberty Seguros) finished safely in the main bunch to conserve his grip on the overall leader’s jersey and deliver his team’s first stage-race victory of the season. Illes Balears, which won the team time trial in stage 2, put David Navas and Ivan Gutierrez in second and third, respectively. Despite three stage victories, Valverde finished fourth overall at 40 seconds back. American Tim Johnson (Saunier Duval) couldn’t make it through the rollercoaster stage and was among 24 who abandoned.
Moreau, Longo win in France
Christophe Moreau (Credit Agricole) and racing legend Jeannie Longo won Sunday’s 30th Trophee des Grimpeurs (FRA 1.3) in France on Sunday. Longo proved she’s ageless with a win ahead of Magali Le Floc’h and Marion Clignet while Moreau finished ahead of Philippe Gilbert (FDJeux.com) to claim the victory in the men’s heat.
Arvesen keeps win ‘home’
Kurt-Asle Arvensen (Team CSC) held off a long solo break to win the 8th CSC Classic (DEN 1.2) in Denmark, finishing 1:21 ahead of Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt (Alessio-Bianchi) in the one-day race. The win keeps the race inside Team CSC, which won last year with Jakob Piil, an important bragging point since the race and the team share the same sponsor, computer software giant CSC.
Fassa fastest in Italy
Matteo Tosatto (Fassa Bortolo) won Sunday’s 77th Giro di Toscana (ITA 1.3), finishing ahead of teammate Alberto Ongarato. Russian veteran Dimitri Konyshev (LPR) came through third.
Phonak wins in Slovenia
Swiss team Phonak was winning on two fronts Sunday. After taking the overall title at the Tour de Romandie with Tyler Hamilton, homeboy Uros Murn won the 162km GP Krka (SLO 1.3) in a bunch sprint. Murn held off compatriots Borut Bozic and Jure Zrimsek to take the victory.